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Research project: CONTACT Colchicine or Naproxen Treatment for Acute Gout

Currently Active: 

Gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis affecting approximately 600,000 people in the UK. Acute gout attacks cause excruciating joint pain and swelling requiring rapid treatment. The most commonly used medicines to treat attacks of gout are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (for example naproxen, diclofenac and ibuprofen) or colchicine. However, we do not know which treatment provides the best & quickest pain relief and which causes fewest side effects.


To directly compare the effectiveness of low dose colchicine and naproxen at reducing pain from adults presenting with acute gout in primary care.

Secondary aims include comparing the side-effects of low-dose colchicine and naproxen used to treat acute gout in primary care and to compare the cost-effectiveness of these two treatments. The study will also compare patient adherence to treatment and the time taken for low-dose colchicine and naproxen to reduce pain in patients with acute gout.


Plan of Investigation

400 patients with acute gout will be recruited from GP practices across Keele, Nottingham, Oxford and Southampton. Patients will be randomised to receive either naproxen or colchicine (200 patients into each arm). Patients randomised to receive Colchicine will be prescribed 500mcg colchicine every 8 hours for 4 days. Patients randomised to receive Naproxen will be prescribed a single initial dose of 750mg naproxen followed by 250mg naproxen every 8 hours for up to seven days.

Once patients have consented into the study they will be asked to complete a baseline questionnaire which will collect information about the presentation & severity of their symptoms. Patients will also be asked to complete a daily pain diary for 1 week & finally they will be asked to complete a 4 week follow-up questionnaire.

Clinical effectiveness will be assessed by analysing the data collected in the patient questionnaires.


Potential Impact

This trial will compare the clinical and cost-effectiveness of low-dose colchicine and naproxen in the treatment of acute gout. This will enable clinicians, patients and health service planners to make informed decisions regarding the management of acute gout.


Local Investigator: Dr Miriam Santer


Duration: 2012-2015


Funder: NIHR School for Primary Care Research


Related research groups

Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education
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