Allopurinol has been widely used for treatment of hyperuricemia, however, it may be associated with various adverse effects. Febuxostat has been identified as a potentially safe and efficacious alternative.
A multicenter study with randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group comparison was carried out to evaluate the efficacy and safety of febuxostat in 103 patients with hyperuricemia (including patients with gout) in Japan.
Subjects were treated with febuxostat (20 or 40 mg/d) or a placebo for 8 weeks. The variables evaluated were the percentage of patients achieving serum uric acid levels 6.0 mg/dL or less and the percent change in serum uric acid levels after 8 weeks.
The percentage of patients achieving serum uric acid levels 6.0 mg/dL or less after 8 weeks was 91.2% in the febuxostat 40-mg/d group, 45.7% in the 20-mg/d group, and 0.0% in the placebo group. The percent changes in serum uric acid levels after 8 weeks were −44.9% in the febuxostat 40-mg/d group, −28.9% in the 20-mg/d group, and −0.6% to −0.5% in the placebo group. No severe or medically significant adverse reaction attributable to febuxostat was noted, and there was no event that could pose a clinical problem. The efficacy did not differ depending on the presence/absence of gout history.
These results suggest that febuxostat (20 or 40 mg/d) is useful as a new means of treating hyperuricemia and is capable of reducing serum uric acid levels to 6.0 mg/dL or less (goal of treatment) with high safety regardless of the presence/absence of gout history.