Benefit-risk of corticosteroids in acute gout patients: An updated meta-analysis and economic evaluation

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The efficacy, safety and health-economic outcomes were compared between corticosteroid and non-corticosteroid treatments in acute gout patients. All electronic literatures comparing the curative effects or full economic evaluations of corticosteroids versus non-corticosteroids on acute pain in acute gout patients and published until June 30, 2017 in any language were searched through PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Pooled odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals and standard(or weighted) mean difference were calculated using random-or fixed-effects models according to the I2 statistic test of heterogeneity. Economic elevations were combined through qualitative narrative synthesis. Finally, seven randomized controlled trials(RCTs) involving 929 patients were included here and suggested corticosteroids had comparable analgesic efficacy to non-corticosteroids on day 5. As for inflammation and PGA, corticosteroids might outperform non-corticosteroids in reducing tenderness and swelling. Corticosteroids versus non-corticosteroids could significantly reduce incidence of only serious adverse advents, but not total adverse advents, with substantial heterogeneity. Qualitative narrative synthesis of economic elevation involving only one study shows corticosteroids are more cost-effective than indomethacin. The existing RCTs do not provide sufficient or precise evidence that corticosteroids are superior to non-corticosteroids in pain relief of acute gout patients. Therefore, studies on chronic use of corticosteroids or comparative studies with colchicine, tramadol and/or opiates may be needed in the future, as is patient satisfaction with analgesic control.

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