Ok, My boyfriend has had gout since he was 19. He is now 33, and it is worse then ever. He does not have ANY health insurance because he works as an independent contractor. When he gets a flare up, it isn't just his feet. He gets swollen knees, elbows, hands... everywhere. We go to the ER (seems like at least once a month) and they give him prednisone, and pain killers. The thing is, as SOON as he is OUT of prednisone (or medrol) he is severely ill and cannot function..AT ALL. His BP gets very low, he vomits, and his entire body (each joint) swells. It never used to be this bad. I am usually researching my OWN illnesses, but now I am starting to look more into his. I am beginning to think this is a vicious cycle of prednisone usage by him without tapering. I have the pill bottle, and he has eleven 10mg pills left. I think he has been taking 2-3 per day. What can I do to help him not go through withdrawl. What is a good taper schedule for 11 pills? I just don't want him to have to live on steroids. I have also found out that it causes infertility. His skin is super thin, he has gained weight, sweats all night, and has a bit of an anger issue. Also he has bumps that feel like hard ROCKS growing under his skin by his elbows and ankles :/
Any advice?? Are there any other meds that work like prednisone that are not so harmful? Sorry this was so long. I am just becoming MORE worried about him since I may have just put 2 and 2 together.
Last edited by flutterby1982; 06-14-2012 at 04:07 PM.
Pred is only used to stop an acute episode of gout. He should be on colchicine to stop more attacks. And he needs to get his uric acid levels down. Gout is not inflammatory...it is a crystal formation disease and those bumps you see a tophi developing.
Check around to local hospitals and see if they have clinics for those with no insurance. Most do. Find one that treats arthritis and get him an appointment. Colchicine is not that expensive and is what he really needs along with a drug like allopurinol that brings down the uric acid levels...that would even help the tophi re-absorb.
Treating the acute attacks does very little good if he can't keep it under control in between....find him a clinic he can go to and get the meds he needs to control it rather than react to it when it gets really bad.
As for tapering pred pills, he's taken so much that 11 pills, even if cut in half and taken slowly will not give you enough time to taper it slow enough to stop a rebound of the gout. Normally they give you strict instructions as to how many you take each day...they call it a pred burst and it starts high and then tapers very fast to low levels but it sounds like he's taking it too high and for too long. But if he can tolerate it, cut them in half and go 2 halves a day and then down to 1 half a day.
Let me know if he rebounds right back into gout symptoms again.
The Following User Says Thank You to jennybyc For This Useful Post: flutterby1982 (06-14-2012)
Thank you Jenny!! As for the Colchicine, for some reason his bpdy cannot tolerate it. It keeps him in the bathroom (both ends). I know he needs it. He has been on Allipurinol and it does not seem to solve it either. He does not drink, and does not eat red meat. I am going to suggest the taper to him tonight, and try my hardest to get him into a clinic. Something has to give. Ya, his uric acid was 19 last month when we checked. Poor thing gets no relief. I am so appreciative of your prompt response. I will try and see if Colchicine will work once more (talk him into taking it). Fingers crossed!
I'm allergic to colchicine so I understand....I get hives and asthma. There are new drugs out there but they are expensive but most drug companies now have support programs to help the patient pay for the drugs but the doc has to help you apply for the subsidies. Check again for hospital based clinics....it all starts with a doc giving him a script.
Frustrating, I know. Hang in there....there is help out there but you have to search for it.
You can also try places like the United Way...they often know if any free clinics are going to take place in your area or what hospitals might help or what docs might see someone on a sliding fee scale. If they can't help, start searching your phone book under Social Service agencies and make phone calls and just ask if they can help....you never know what might help. We got medical support from the Salvation Army once. Your state should have something...maybe he'd qualify for state operated Medicaid which is a form of insurance. It's based on financial need and disability if you don't qualify for SSDI. It's all about asking. You sound like you're good at that....thank you.
I am sorry to read about his health issues and not having insurance...
If he ever needs any drug, call the company who makes this drug. Usually they help you only if you do have insurance to help with co-pays. But they have phone numbers (links) of the companies who may help him to get the drug. Just call and find out.
I just found out that my friend's cleaning lady had Emergency appendicitis surgery; no insurance. She went to her Hospita,l where she had surgery, and asked for Charity care. Most Hospitals have this program and go from there.
Best of luck to you; hope everything will work well for you guys
The Following User Says Thank You to Moldova For This Useful Post: flutterby1982 (06-25-2012)