There is no known cure available for the condition. Treatment for the pseudogout is focused on relieving pain and improving mobility and function in the joint. A combination of treatments is usually successful in accomplishing these goals.
Medications for pseudogout treatment
People may try to relieve the pain of pseudogout with over-the-counter medications for pain. However, if the pain is severe and not controlled with these pain relievers, their physician may prescribe the following types of medications for pseudogout:
- Prescription-strength nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: These are sometimes called NSAIDs. Examples include Anaprox and indomethacin. These medications are especially effective at reducing inflammation as well as pain, but they carry a risk of decreasing the work of the kidneys, and they can cause bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract. Make sure you discuss the risks and benefits of NSAIDs with your healthcare provider.
- Colchicine: This medication is usually prescribed for gout, but it is also effective in low doses for pseudogout treatment. It is sometimes used as a preventative drug in people who have frequent flare-ups of pseudogout, so your healthcare provider may prescribe colchicine to be taken as a daily medication.
- Corticosteroids. These drugs have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Long-term use of these medications is not recommended, but they are sometimes prescribed during an acute flare-up of pseudogout, especially in people who cannot take colchicine or NSAIDs. Steroid medications can cause many serious side effects if taken long-term.
This procedure can be done in your physician’s office. During this procedure, a needle is inserted into the affected joint area, withdrawing some of the fluid built up due to pseudogout inflammation. Aspiration of the fluid relieves pressure and pain. The joint can then be injected with an anesthetic medication combined with a corticosteroid to decrease inflammation further and ease the pseudogout pain.
Home remedies can sometimes successfully ease the pain and inflammation caused by a flare-up of pseudogout. Examples of home treatments for pseudogout joint pain include the following:
- Over-the-counter medications: You can purchase nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in non-prescription strength over-the-counter. These relieve pain, and they also decrease the joint inflammation caused by pseudogout. Examples include ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen. Be sure to ask your doctor if NSAIDs are appropriate for you, especially if you are elderly, have a history of stomach or another bleeding, or have kidney problems.
- Rest your painful joint. When you are experiencing a flare-up of painful pseudogout, try to rest the affected joint as much as you can. If your knee joint is affected, try elevating your leg to reduce swelling.
- Cold or ice packs. Cold helps to decrease swelling and inflammation and provides soothing relief in many cases of pseudogout. Apply ice or ice packs wrapped in a tee shirt or thin towel for 15 to 20 minutes at intervals of 3 to 4 hours.
Outcome & Complications
The crystal deposits in the joints, which are associated with pseudogout, can damage the joint structures. This joint damage can result in long-term signs and symptoms which are similar to those of rheumatoid or osteoarthritis.