(RxWiki News) When too much uric acid builds up in their blood, patients can develop gout. But a newly approved medication could combat that uric acid buildup.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Tuesday approved Zurampic (lesinurad) to treat hyperuricemia tied to gout — in conjunction with a xanthine oxidase inhibitor, which also fights hyperuricemia. Hyperuricemia is a condition marked by high blood levels of uric acid.
"Controlling hyperuricemia is critical to the long-term treatment of gout," said Badrul Chowdhury, MD, director of the FDA's Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Rheumatology Products, in a press release. "Zurampic provides a new treatment option for the millions of people who may develop gout over their lifetimes."
Gout is a type of arthritis that usually starts with painful swelling and soreness in the big toe. The kidneys usually filter excess uric acid from the blood, which prevents gout. Zurampic helps the kidneys get rid of excess uric acid when they can't on their own, according to the FDA.
Three studies that covered a total of 1,537 gout patients found that Zurampic was safe and effective. Compared to a fake treatment (placebo), this AstraZeneca drug appeared to lower blood levels of uric acid.
Although it appeared to be safe overall, Zurampic does carry a boxed warning. This warning notes an increased risk of kidney failure tied to the drug. Other adverse reactions included influenza, gastroesophageal reflux disease and headache, among other side effects.