Background: : 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.
Objectives: : 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.
Methods: : 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.
Results: : 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.
Conclusions: : 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.