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Should I Take Aspirin for Gout?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 17, 2024
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On the surface, taking aspirin for gout appears to make sense. Gout can be a painful condition and taking a pain reliever to deal with some of its discomfort appears to be the obvious choice. What’s missing here is an understanding of the precise nature of gout, which causes discomfort based on high levels of uric acid in the body. Many common foods can elevate these levels and bring on a gouty attack. Some medicines also elevate uric acid, and one of these medicines is aspirin.

There are some different opinions on the disadvantages of taking aspirin for gout. Some people who suffer from gout also need to take daily aspirin in low dose strengths to decrease risk for heart attack or stroke. This isn’t necessarily completely forbidden, and people need to discuss with their individual doctors whether the attendant risks of this practice are outweighed by its benefits. Most often the tiny amount of uric acid elevation from a single low dose pill (81mg) is not significant if gout is under control.

The problem seems to be an issue when people take aspirin for gout pain. Taking two regular aspirins will raise levels of uric acid fairly significantly, and in some people this could be enough to cause an attack. The risk goes up with each dose during a day, and every dose has a negative effect on uric acid build-up and this cumulative effect may bring on strong gout pain.

An alternative to using aspirin for gout is to take another pain reliever. Patients who have this condition really need advice on what pain medicines can be effectively and safely used. Many over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) run similar risks as aspirin for gout. On the other hand, there are some prescription NSAIDS that can relieve pain and don’t elevate uric acid levels.

Questions about using aspirin for gout are good ones to ask because many people lack the information they need to most effectively handle gout without creating problems and complications. Patients should also be certain they understand the other medications, beverages, or foods that raise risk for attacks. There are some excellent online resources that can help people find this information and some easy to read informative books. The best first source for learning anything about this condition is definitely a doctor, and patients shouldn’t hesitate to ask for explanations or more answers to questions so that they can better manage their illness.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By SteamLouis — On Sep 08, 2013

@MikeMason-- I don't think it's possible to take several grams of aspirin a day for very long without developing a stomach ulcer.

By serenesurface — On Sep 07, 2013

@MikeMason-- No, I have not heard this before.

All I know about gout and aspirin is that soon after I started taking aspirin for high blood pressure, I had a gout attack. So I don't think that aspirin at any dose is beneficial for gout. It needs to be avoided.

By stoneMason — On Sep 06, 2013

I've heard that in low doses, aspirin makes gout worse and brings on a gout attack, but in high doses it has the opposite effect. It actually lessens gout symptoms. I think high doses mean several grams a day.

Has anyone else read or heard anything similar? Or has anyone actually taken high doses of aspirin for gout?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
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