Korean J Intern Med.  2023 May;38(3):427-433. 10.3904/kjim.2022.190.

A retrospective observational study of the appropriate starting dose of febuxostat in patients with gout

  • 1Jeju National University Hospital, Jeju, Korea
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Jeju National University College of Medicine, Jeju, Korea


The occurrence of gout attacks at the start of uric acid lowering treatment worsens compliance. We aimed to determine the appropriate dose of febuxostat to reduce the occurrence of gout attacks during the initial treatment period.
We retrospectively analyzed the data of patients diagnosed with gout who underwent treatment at Jeju National University Hospital between May 2018 and May 2020.
Two-hundred and twenty-seven patients were included, with a mean age of 53.2 ± 16.4 years, and 219 (96.5%) were male. The patients were divided into two groups according to the starting dose of febuxostat (20 mg vs. 40 mg). There were no significant differences in mean age, disease duration, colchicine, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), initial uric acid levels, and presence of subcutaneous tophi between the two groups. Gout attacks occurred more frequently in the 20 mg group than in the 40 mg group during the first 3 months of treatment (32.0% vs. 14.3%, p = 0.002), particularly during the first month (21.3% vs. 7.5%, p = 0.005). Multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted adjusting for the effects of disease duration, the presence of subcutaneous tophi, eGFR, and initial uric acid levels. A febuxostat starting dose of 40 mg (odds ratio, 0.464; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.246 to 0.862; p = 0.015) and anti-inflammatory prophylaxis (odds ratio, 0.359; 95% CI, 0.158 to 0.813; p = 0.014) were found to be independent factors associated with a gout attack.
Starting uric acid lowering treatment with febuxostat 40 mg rather than 20 mg may reduce the incidence of gout attacks in the early period of treatment in Korean patients with gout.


Febuxostat; Gout arthritis; Initial dose
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