Gout is an inflammatory response to deposition of monosodium urate crystals in and around joints. It is primarily a disease of adult men. In acute gout, treatment options include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), colchicine and corticosteroids, administered either intra-articularly, orally or parenterally. Asymptomatic hyperuricaemia does not require specific treatment, but should prompt screening for atherosclerosis risk factors, and general lifestyle modification to reduce serum urate levels. Gout presents differently in the elderly. Both women and men are affected, attacks are frequently polyarticular and in the upper limbs, and the gout may be associated with diuretic use, hypertension and renal impairment. In patients with peptic ulcer disease, selective COX-2 inhibitors provide another treatment option. In the presence of renal impairment, allopurinol is the treatment of choice for urate lowering therapy, but doses of allopurinol and colchicine must be adjusted. Urate lowering therapy should only be used if recurrent episodes of gout occur despite aggressive attempts to reverse or control the underlying causes. It should not be introduced or discontinued during an acute episode of gout, and gout prophylaxis (NSAIDs or colchicine) should be prescribed during the introduction of urate lowering therapy.