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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

An estimated 6 million people in the United States have gout. So, if you have a question about gout, it’s highly likely that someone else does, too! As the first FDA-approved branded prescription medicine for lowering uric acid levels in adults with gout in more than 40 years, ULORIC is likely to raise some questions of its own. Following are some of the most frequently asked questions about gout, the role of uric acid, gout treatment options, and ULORIC. So, look them over, and if you have a question that you don’t see here, be sure to ask your healthcare professional.

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Understanding Gout

What is gout?

Gout is a painful form of arthritis. Gout is best known to many people because of its extremely painful attacks. These attacks often happen without warning, make it hard to get around, and can last from hours to weeks.

What causes gout?

Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid. This buildup is also known as hyperuricemia ('hi-per-'yuri-'seem-ee-uh), the medical name for high uric acid in the blood.

When you have high uric acid, it can form crystals in your joints. These crystals cause inflammation that can lead to extremely painful gout attacks. Someone may have high uric acid and never have an attack, or have it for years before their first gout attack.

Learn about what causes gout in more detail.

Where does uric acid come from?

Everyone has uric acid in his or her body. It comes from substances called purines. Most uric acid comes from purines made naturally in your body. The rest comes from purines in your diet. Learn more about diet and purines.

If your body produces too much uric acid and/or your kidneys have trouble getting rid of it, uric acid builds up in your blood to higher-than-healthy levels. If you have gout, high uric acid buildup can lead to more attacks.

Most uric acid comes from purines made naturally by the body

Most uric acid comes from purines made naturally in your body

Does gout strike only in the big toe or can it affect
other joints?

Gout may be best known for causing severe pain in the toe. In fact, most gout attacks (76%) do occur in the big toe. You may be surprised to learn that gout attacks can occur in other parts of the body as well. One survey of people with gout showed that attacks occurred in the:

  • Big toe (76%)
  • Ankle or foot (50%)
  • Knee (32%)
  • Finger (25%)
  • Elbow (10%)
  • Wrist (10%)
  • More than one site (11%)

What triggers a gout attack?

It is hard to say exactly what triggers an attack. They sometimes occur for no apparent reason. . .other times, something may seem to trigger the attack. Gout attacks may be triggered by alcohol, certain medicines, another illness, stressful events, or other factors.

Other known gout triggers include:

  • Joint injury
  • Eating too much of certain foods
  • Infection
  • Surgery
  • Crash diets
  • Rapid lowering of uric acid levels with uric acid-lowering medicines
  • Some cancer treatments

Learn more about gout attacks.

Can the uric acid level in my blood lead to a
gout attack?

Yes. If you have gout, high uric acid levels can lead to more attacks. To help reduce future gout attacks, lower your uric acid to a healthy level. Keeping your uric acid level low (less than 6 mg/dL) is the goal for long-term management of gout.

Evaluating Your Treatment Options

What steps should I take to manage my gout?

There are 2 parts when it comes to treating gout; both are equally important. Your healthcare professional may give you medicine to treat your symptoms (the pain and swelling of a gout attack) and medicine to treat the root cause of gout (high uric acid).

Nobody who’s experienced a gout attack is likely to question the importance of pain relief. But medicines to reduce pain and swelling don’t address the root cause of gout. For that, you’ll need a medication that helps lower your uric acid to a healthy level and keep it there. Over time, this can reduce future gout attacks. Learn about treatment to lower uric acid levels.

You should discuss an overall treatment plan approach with your healthcare professional, which may also include:

  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet
  • Having your uric acid checked occasionally as directed by your healthcare professional to ensure it is at a healthy level (less than 6 mg/dL)
  • Keeping your doctor informed about your gout flares, including how many and how long they last

Since purines are found in certain foods, can I manage my gout by changing my diet?

There’s no denying that important steps like drinking plenty of nonalcoholic beverages (lots of water, less alcohol), exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting high-purine foods are smart choices for people with gout. A healthy diet and lifestyle are good for you and should be a part of your comprehensive treatment plan.

However, research shows that diet alone may not be enough to get rid of the buildup of uric acid and help reduce future gout attacks. In most cases, even the strictest low-purine diet has been shown to reduce uric acid levels by about
1 mg/dL. See how diet measures up.

How can I learn more about gout treatment?

This Website is just one resource for information about gout and gout treatment. You can also join GoutSmart. GoutSmart provides education and information about gout and ULORIC.

This program is designed to help you:

  • Take an active role in managing your gout
  • Learn about the relationship between uric acid and gout
  • Learn more about ULORIC, the first FDA-approved branded prescription medicine for lowering uric acid in adults with gout in more than 40 years
  • Know what questions to ask and discuss with your healthcare professional

Living with gout? Sign up for our GoutSmart program now.

What else can I do to manage my gout?

To further help manage your gout, you should discuss a treatment plan with your healthcare professional, which may include:

  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet
  • Taking medicine to lower your uric acid level and medicine to manage the pain and swelling caused  by your gout attacks
  • Having your uric acid level checked occasionally as directed by your healthcare professional to ensure it is at a healthy level
    (less than 6 mg/dL)
  • Keeping your doctor informed about your gout flares, including how many and how long they last

ULORIC at Work

What is ULORIC?

ULORIC is the first FDA-approved branded prescription medicine for lowering uric acid in adults with gout in more than 40 years! It’s a prescription medicine called a xanthine oxidase (XO) inhibitor that is used to lower blood uric acid levels in adults with gout. It is not for the treatment of high uric acid in people without a history of gout. Learn more about ULORIC.

How does ULORIC work?

Uric acid comes from substances called purines. Your body makes purines, and they also come from some things you eat and drink. ULORIC works in adults with gout by stopping the body from turning purines into uric acid. Research shows that keeping your uric acid level low can reduce future gout attacks over time. Learn more about lowering uric acid.

What are some of the key differences between ULORIC and allopurinol?

Allopurinol is another medicine often prescribed to lower uric acid levels. Research has shown several key differences between ULORIC and allopurinol:

  • ULORIC 40 mg was similar, and ULORIC 80 mg was significantly better at helping patients reach a healthy uric acid level (less than 6 mg/dL) compared with allopurinol.
  • Up to twice as many patients reached a healthy uric acid level
    (less than 6 mg/dL) while taking ULORIC 80 mg compared with allopurinol.
  • Unlike patients using allopurinol, patients with mild to moderate kidney problems do not have to change doses with ULORIC.*
  • More patients with mild to moderate kidney problems reached a healthy uric acid level (less than 6 mg/dL) while taking ULORIC compared with allopurinol.

*Only a small number of patients with severe kidney problems were studied with ULORIC. If you have kidney problems, ask your healthcare professional about the differences between medicines used to lower uric acid levels.

See how ULORIC can fit into your treatment plan.

Can I take ULORIC if I have mild to moderate
kidney problems?

With ULORIC, you may have another treatment option to discuss with your healthcare professional. Some key points to keep in mind:

  • Unlike patients using allopurinol, patients with mild to moderate kidney problems do not have to change doses with ULORIC.*
  • More patients with mild to moderate kidney problems reached a healthy uric acid level (less than 6 mg/dL) while taking ULORIC compared with allopurinol.

*Only a small number of patients with severe kidney problems were studied with ULORIC. If you have kidney problems, ask your healthcare professional about the differences between medicines used to lower uric acid levels.

Learn about Safety & Side Effects.

How should I take ULORIC?

If you’re beginning treatment with ULORIC, it’s important that you follow your healthcare professional’s instructions carefully. ULORIC is taken daily, with or without food, so you can make taking ULORIC part of your daily routine. ULORIC can be taken with antacids. Learn about Getting Started With ULORIC

What if I have a gout attack while I’m
taking ULORIC?

Gout may flare up when you start taking medicine (e.g., ULORIC, allopurinol, and probenecid) to lower your uric acid. This may be caused when crystals begin to dissolve in your joints as your uric acid level goes down. Your healthcare professional may tell you to take other medicines to help prevent or manage flares during initial treatment. If your healthcare professional gives you medicine to lower your uric acid, you should keep taking it, even between attacks.

Learn why staying on ULORIC is important for managing gout.

What are the possible side effects of ULORIC?

ULORIC may cause side effects in some people. The most common are:

  • Liver problems
  • Nausea
  • Gout flares
  • Joint pain
  • Rash

Tell your healthcare professional if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all of the possible side effects of ULORIC. For more detailed information about side effects, ask your healthcare professional or pharmacist, or click here for Prescribing Information.

Who should not take ULORIC?

Do not take ULORIC if you take:

  • Azathioprine
  • Mercaptopurine

It is not known if ULORIC is safe and effective in children with gout under 18 years of age.

What should I tell my healthcare professional before taking ULORIC?

Before taking ULORIC, tell your healthcare professional about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • Have liver or kidney problems
  • Have a history of heart disease or stroke
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if ULORIC will harm your unborn baby. Talk with your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
  • Are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed. It is not known if ULORIC passes into your breast milk. You and your healthcare professional should decide if you should take ULORIC while breast-feeding.

Tell your healthcare professional about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. ULORIC may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how ULORIC works. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them, and show it to your healthcare professional and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

How should I store ULORIC?

  • Store ULORIC between 59ºF-86ºF (15ºC-30ºC).
  • Keep ULORIC out of the light.
  • Keep ULORIC and all medicines out of the reach of children.

Does ULORIC offer a savings program?

Yes. With the ULORIC Savings Card, eligible patients will pay no more than $15*, subject to a maximum benefit of $75, for ULORIC prescriptions and each refill until March 31, 2015. Just take your ULORIC Savings Card with you when you get your prescription filled and present it to the pharmacist.

In addition to getting these savings, you will also be enrolled in the GoutSmart program, a personalized educational series of e-newsletters that allows you to select topics that most appeal to you.

Save on prescriptions* and stay informed with GoutSmart.

* Must meet eligibility requirements.

What is Takeda’s Help at Hand prescription assistance program?

Takeda believes all patients should have access to the medication prescribed by their healthcare providers. We also understand that some patients may have financial situations that make it difficult to pay for their prescriptions.

Help At Hand provides patients with three options for receiving free or low-cost medications:

  • Patient Assistance Program (PAP) — qualified patients can receive free Takeda medication
  • Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) — helps qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get the medicines they need

For more information about Takeda Help At Hand, visit www.takedahelpathand.com.

Join Gout Smart. Sign up for goutsmart now and save up to $25 on every ULORIC prescription with our mone-saving PL+S Card. Don't Wait!  Sign up now & save How does uloric fit in to your gout treatment plan. See how uloric fits

Use of ULORIC

ULORIC is a prescription medicine used to lower blood uric acid levels in adults with gout. ULORIC is not for the treatment of high uric acid without a history of gout.

Individual results may vary.

Important Safety Information

Do not take ULORIC if you are taking Azathioprine or Mercaptopurine.

Your gout may flare up when you start taking ULORIC; do not stop taking your ULORIC even if you have a flare. Your healthcare provider may give you other medicines to help prevent your gout flares.

A small number of heart attacks, strokes, and heart-related deaths were seen in clinical studies. It is not certain that ULORIC caused these events.

Tell your healthcare professional about liver or kidney problems or a history of heart disease or stroke.

Your healthcare professional may do blood tests to check your liver function while you are taking ULORIC.

The most common side effects of ULORIC are liver problems, nausea, gout flares, joint pain, and rash.

Please see the complete Prescribing Information and talk to your healthcare professional.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

ULORIC is a registered trademark of Teijin Limited registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and used under license by Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc.
©2014 Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.

This site is intended for use by US residents only. 93192 02/14

 

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"I WISH I KNEW" Video Series

Video 2 Overlay Video I: Gout: Understanding the Root Cause
Video 3 Overlay Video II: Take Action to Help Get to Goal
Video 1 Overlay Video III: How ULORIC Can Help
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Use of ULORIC

ULORIC is a prescription medicine used to lower blood uric acid levels in adults with gout. ULORIC is not for the treatment of high uric acid without a history of gout.

Individual results may vary.

Important Safety Information

Do not take ULORIC if you are taking Azathioprine or Mercaptopurine.

Your gout may flare up when you start taking ULORIC; do not stop taking your ULORIC even if you have a flare. Your healthcare provider may give you other medicines to help prevent your gout flares.

A small number of heart attacks, strokes, and heart-related deaths were seen in clinical studies. It is not certain that ULORIC caused these events.

Tell your healthcare professional about liver or kidney problems or a history of heart disease or stroke.

Your healthcare professional may do blood tests to check your liver function while you are taking ULORIC.

The most common side effects of ULORIC are liver problems, nausea, gout flares, joint pain, and rash.

Please see the complete Prescribing Information and talk to your healthcare professional.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.