How to Save Money on Popular Gout Medication
high drug prices
Over the past few decades, there has been a gradual, but steady increase in the number of gout medication prescriptions being filled. As it turns out, it hasn’t just been through NorthWestPharmacy.com — this is an international occurrence.
Between 1960 and 1990, instances of gout in the United States doubled. At this point, about 4 million Americans are believed to be affected by gout. However, this issue isn’t uniquely American.
As of September 2020, the global number of people affected by gout exceeded 41 million people, with about 1.3 million of those diagnosed living with an actual disability because of it.
Furthermore, hyperuricemia (excess uric acid in the body) is also common, with an estimated 6-8% of healthy adults being affected by it. Hyperuricemia increases additional risk factors for other life-threatening conditions (more on that later).
Along with the increasing prevalence of gout, more and more people are struggling to afford their medication. Here’s what you need to know about gout and how you can save money on your prescriptions.
What is Gout?
Gout is a common form of arthritis that is caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joint — most often at the base of the big toe, where it connects to the foot. Other common joints where people experience gout are the ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, and fingers.
You might have noticed that the most commonly affected joints are in the extremities. Gout is more likely to affect colder joints, and those tend to be further away from the trunk of the body.
Gout can affect both men and women, although it’s typically more common in men at about a 2-to-1 ratio. However, post-menopausal women are at increased risk for developing gout because their uric acid levels go up — even as high as an adult male’s uric acid levels.
Gout pain is most often described as being sudden and severe. Along with sharp pains comes swelling, redness and tenderness in the joint. Sometimes the skin on top of the joint is literally hot to the touch, and even the slightest pressure (socks, a bedsheet, etc.), can cause pain. For reasons experts have yet to fully understand, gout pain usually gets worse at night.
Factors Attributed to Increased Gout Prevalence
Generally, the increased prevalence of gout can be attributed to three major reasons:
- People are living longer, thanks to better medical knowledge.
- Hypertension and diabetes are also prevalent and are often linked with gout.
- Common medications (such as aspirin and diuretics) increase the risk of gout.
Furthermore, lifestyle and diet choices come into play and can increase risk. Sometimes these choices necessitate medications that in turn, increase the risk of gout. In these cases, there isn’t a lot a person can do about the development of gout.
Because the cause of gout is a buildup of uric acid and it’s the kidneys’ job to cleanse the body of toxins, this common arthritic disease is often linked with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Unfortunately, this correlation goes both ways.
People with chronic kidney disease are more likely to develop hyperuricemia, and therefore gout. About 37 million Americans have CKD, and unfortunately, a much larger number of people don’t even know they have CKD.
Best Medication for Gout
All types of arthritis are forms of inflammation, but gout is unique in that there is a physical buildup of uric acid that has crystallized, restricting movement in the joint and making it far more painful to use.
The good news in this case is that there is a known cause that can be addressed via lifestyle, diet, and medication.
Here are four of the most common gout medications.
Colcrys (colchicine) is an anti-inflammatory prescription that is sometimes prescribed to patients who suffer from pain attributed to gout. It’s not typically the first medication that doctors use for the treatment of gout — mostly because they don’t really know why it works.
Colchicine will not cure gout, nor will it affect uric acid levels. What researchers know for sure is that it helps reduce the pain associated with inflammation due to gout.
Typically, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are the first course of action. Sometimes this comes in the form of an over-the-counter drug, whereas other times a prescription is necessary. Of course, not everyone is able to take NSAID pain relievers (most often because of existing medical conditions), and in these cases, Colcrys is more popular.
In the United States, brand name Colcrys at the 0.06 mg dose costs about $275.00 for a 30-day supply (about $9.17 per pill). The generic version is much more affordable, coming in at about $20.00 ($0.67 per pill) for the tablets and $30.00 ($1.00 per pill) for the capsules.
At NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can buy Colcrys for about $245.00 for a 30-day supply (about $8.17 per pill). Our generic is also more affordable than in the U.S.
We have two different strengths. Our 0.05 mg dose comes in 60-pill packs and runs about $27.00 ($0.45 per pill). The 0.06 mg dose comes in 100-pill packs and runs about $63.00 ($0.63 per pill).
Uloric (febuxostat) is a type of prescription medication known as a xanthine oxidase inhibitor. As the classification name suggests, it works by inhibiting the enzyme xanthine oxidase, which converts hypoxanthine to xanthine and xanthine into uric acid.
Purines (a type of protein) are often brought into the conversation at this stage because they’re also converted into uric acid. Foods rich in purines include some types of seafood, organ meats (i.e. liver), food containing lots of sugar (particularly high fructose corn syrup), and alcohol (also contains sugar).
When taken properly, Uloric helps prevent gout attacks and can even help prevent kidney stones. The kidneys process uric acid out of the blood and excrete it out of the body in urine, but if there’s too much uric acid left in the organs, crystals can form, creating kidney stones.
Frequent, recurring instances of kidney stones are considered chronic kidney disease.
In the United States, brand name Uloric costs about $395.00 for a 30-day supply (about $13.10 per pill).
At NorthWestPharmacy.com, buy a 28-day supply of brand name Uloric for about $125.00 ($4.46 per pill). We also sell larger quantities up to 84 pills for about $310.00 ($3.69 per pill).
Zyloprim (allopurinol) is another popular xanthine oxidase inhibitor. People who take Zyloprim often report that their gout pain reduces about two or three days after they begin taking the medication.
Because Zyloprim is actually reducing the amount of uric acid in the body, all gout pain symptoms should be reduced, including pain due to inflammation, redness, tenderness in the skin on top of the joint, and any swelling that has occurred.
In the United States, you’re unlikely to find brand name Zyloprim at this point. There is a generic readily available, which is always the preferred method in the United States for both insurance companies and pharmacies. Most often, customers also prefer them because they’re cheaper.
While generic versions of prescription drugs always contain the same dosage of the active ingredient, the filler ingredients vary between brand names and generics. Most of the time, this isn’t an issue for the patient. However, sometimes patients have adverse reactions to a filler ingredient. In these cases, the brand name is not just preferred, but required.
At NorthWestPharmacy.com, buy brand name Zyloprim starting at about $51.00 for a 100-day supply ($0.51 per pill). We also sell the generic starting at about $23.00 for a 112-day supply ($0.21 per pill).
In the U.S., the generic is relatively affordable — about $11.00 for a 30-day supply ($0.37 per pill), which still doesn’t beat the NorthWestPharmacy.com price.
Celebrex (celecoxib) is likely one of the most recognized brand names in terms of gout medications. In large part, this has to do with its flexibility. It works by blocking the production of prostaglandins, which cause inflammation in the body.
Celebrex is an NSAID that is often prescribed for more generic forms of arthritis pain because of its lower risk of unwanted side effects. Many NSAIDs cause digestive issues because they impact the COX-1 (cyclo-oxygenase) enzyme, which helps protect the mucus lining of the stomach.
What makes Celebrex so fascinating is that it doesn’t affect the COX-1 enzyme. In fact, it essentially ignores it and focuses instead on the COX-2 enzyme, which in turn decreases the risk of ulcers and other unwanted gastrointestinal side effects.
That being said, Celebrex is still an NSAID, and long-term use can still cause gastrointestinal disruption. Because gout isn’t necessarily “curable,” people taking this medication may have to take it for an extended period of time, increasing the risk of ulcers. While the risk is lower than other NSAIDs, it is still present.
In the United States, brand name Celebrex starts at about $156.00 for a 30-day supply ($5.20 per pill.)
At NorthWestPharmacy.com, buy a 60-day supply of brand name Celebrex for about $75.00 ($1.25 per pill).
How the Right Canadian Online Pharmacy Can Change Your Life
Provides Much Needed Stress Relief
Knowing that you have a chronic condition that can flare up at any time is stressful enough. When the medication that helps keep your symptoms at a manageable level is expensive, that stress level is far more burdensome.
At NorthWestPharmacy.com, we believe that everyone should have affordable access to their medication. It’s one of the reasons we’re so dedicated to finding the lowest price possible for all medications.
In fact, we’re so committed to this concept that we have a lowest price guarantee. If you can find your medication at a lower price elsewhere, all you have to do is tell us and we’ll beat the price.
Keeps You Safe
Something we find with first-time customers at NorthWestPharmacy.com is hesitance. We’ve heard all the Canadian online pharmacy myths (that have already been busted), and we’re very aware of the fact that they make people nervous — even though they’re not true.
As the saying goes, “you can’t unring the bell.” When people hear from sources that should be trustworthy that international online pharmacies aren’t reliable, it sticks in their brains and it’s difficult to overcome.
The fact of the matter is that accredited international online pharmacies are just as safe as any American pharmacy. Like American pharmacies, international online pharmacies (such as NorthWestPharmacy.com) are monitored by third-party professional organizations.
We’re accredited and monitored by two major pharmacy associations: The Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) and the International Pharmacy Association of British Columbia (IPABC).
CIPA monitors international pharmacies all across Canada and internationally, but the IPABC focuses on online pharmacies that also dispense Canadian drugs online from the province of British Columbia. Their guidelines are very similar to each other, and in order to be certified by CIPA, you must first be accredited by IPABC or another CIPA-member provincial organization.
We’re proud of our flawless safety record and it is thanks to our system of checks throughout the order process.
We have over 400,000 customer reviews, with the vast majority of them being very positive. Knowing that our customers trust us to keep them safe and help them save money makes all our hard work worthwhile.
Provides Stellar Customer Service
Another major point of pride for us is our customer service. At a point in time when many companies are closing their call centers, or simply outsourcing them to a country with cheaper labor, we continue to maintain a call center staffed with knowledgeable representatives.
We have a wealth of information on our website to help people — in-depth articles that discuss specific medications that treat chronic diseases, issues with the healthcare system, and why there is such a cost difference between Canada and the U.S. We also have how-to guides on placing orders, and plenty of information on each drug we sell.
But sometimes, you just need (or want) to talk to a human. Our customer service representatives are available seven days a week to answer your questions or point you in the right direction, but they can also walk you through the ordering process.
When you’re ready to place your order, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help. We’re always happy to help.
You can reach us on the phone at 1-866-539-5330, or you can choose to email us whenever is most convenient for you. We look forward to hearing from you soon! You can save big on Canada’s drugs and international prescription products.