DEERFIELD, Ill., July 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For Emmitt Smith, Pro Football running back legend, as an athlete, pain was a part of the job. Yet he describes a gout flare as a level of pain like nothing else he had felt before. Along with an estimated 8 million Americans, Smith suffers from gout, a serious form of arthritis, and he's joining a team of sports stars to share his gout story. Together, they are partnering with Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. (Takeda) on the "Champions for Gout Awareness" educational campaign, highlighting the importance of managing the pain of acute gout and the underlying chronic condition in gout patients with hyperuricemia.
"My gout attack was like a defensive linebacker I never saw coming. The pain and diagnosis surprised me," says Smith. "I had a lot of misconceptions about gout. I thought it was an 'old man's disease', and I thought I could power through the pain on my own. Now I know it's the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in men over the age of 40, and that I have to work with my doctor to help manage my gout."
Basketball star Alonzo Mourning, pitching great David Wells and stock car racing crew chief Kevin "Bono" Manion – champions in their own sports – are joining Smith in the common goal of connecting with people to reinforce the importance of the patient/doctor partnership in more actively managing the disease. As experts in their sports and gout patients, over the coming months, these champions will share their perspective on key sports moments, as well as what they've experienced and learned about this form of arthritis.
"Like these influential sports figures, many of my patients are surprised by the pain and diagnosis of gout. Gout is a chronic, progressive condition, that may get worse over time," says Theodore Fields, M.D., F.A.C.P., director of the Rheumatology Faculty Practice Plan at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. "Many gout patients suffer from the painful symptoms of acute gout, commonly known as flares, and the underlying chronic condition, which is a buildup of uric acid called hyperuricemia. Whether it is treating and managing gout flares or lowering uric acid levels, I encourage patients to take an active role in their treatment and to talk openly and often with their doctor about their gout."
Gout is a crystal-induced arthritis. While gout is more common in men, women also can suffer from gout and are most often affected after menopause. Gout flares are characterized by intense pain, redness, swelling and heat in the affected joints, most commonly in the big toe, caused by a buildup of uric acid. According to the 2012 American College of Rheumatology Guidelines for managing gout, a goal in treatment of gout is to reduce the uric acid level in the blood to below 6 mg/dL. Excessive uric acid may lead to crystals forming and building up in joints, possibly leading to joint damage over time. Gout may be managed through diet and lifestyle changes along with medications, as needed, to treat and reduce the risk of gout flares and lower uric acid levels.
"Champions for Gout Awareness gives me the chance to share my gout experience. For me, it's about educating myself about gout and working closely with my doctor. I hope Alonzo, David, Kevin and I can inspire others who live with gout to learn as much as they can about the condition and, most importantly, to work closely with their doctors to manage gout flares as well as working to target healthy uric acid levels," notes Smith.
About the Takeda Gout Franchise
Takeda is committed to making a stronger impact on gout treatment through ongoing research, greater scientific insights and education and support for physicians and patients. Takeda provides multiple therapeutic options for gout patients including Colcrys (colchicine, USP) for the treatment and prevention of flares associated with gout and Uloric (febuxostat), used to lower blood uric acid levels in adults with gout. To help make gout treatment more affordable and accessible, Takeda offers patient assistance programs and other robust savings programs and resources to address patient needs and help ensure access to Takeda medicines. To learn more about Takeda's patient assistance program, please visit www.takedahelpathand.com or call 1-800-830-9159.
Colcrys (colchicine, USP) is a prescription medicine used in adults for the treatment of flares associated with gout when taken at the first sign of a flare, as well as prevention of flares. Colcrys is not a pain medicine and it should not be taken to treat pain from other causes. Colcrys is a trademark of Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and used under license by Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. For more information about Colcrys including patient savings programs, visit www.Colcrys.com.
Important Safety Information for Colcrys
- Colcrys can cause serious side effects or death if levels of Colcrys are too high in your body. Taking certain medicines with Colcrys can cause your level of Colcrys to be too high, even at recommended doses, especially if you have kidney or liver problems.
- Tell your healthcare provider about all your medical conditions and all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and if you consume grapefruit juice.
- Fatal overdoses, both accidental and intentional, have been reported in adults and children who have ingested colchicine. Keep Colcrys out of the reach of children.
- Colcrys can also cause serious muscle problems and blood disorders even when taken as directed. You have a higher chance for muscle problems if you are elderly, are taking certain other medicines with Colcrys, or have kidney problems.
- Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
- The most common side effects in people who have gout flares are diarrhea (23%) and throat pain (3%).
For further information, please talk to your healthcare provider and see the complete Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for Colcrys.
Uloric (febuxostat) is a prescription medicine used to lower blood uric acid levels in adults with gout. Uloric is not for the treatment of high uric acid without a history of gout. Uloric is a registered trademark of Teijin Pharma Limited and used under license by Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. For more information about Uloric including patient savings programs, visit www.Uloric.com.
Important Safety Information for Uloric
- Do not take Uloric if you are taking Azathioprine or Mercaptopurine.
- Your gout may flare up when you start taking Uloric; do not stop taking your Uloric even if you have a flare. Your healthcare provider may give you other medicines to help prevent your gout flares.
- A small number of heart attacks, strokes, and heart-related deaths were seen in clinical studies. It is not certain that Uloric caused these events.
- Tell your healthcare professional about liver or kidney problems or a history of heart disease or stroke.
- Your healthcare professional may do blood tests to check your liver function while you are taking Uloric.
- The most common side effects of Uloric are liver problems, nausea, gout flares, joint pain, and rash.
Please see the complete Prescribing Information and talk to your healthcare professional.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.
Based in Deerfield, Ill., Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. is a subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan. The respective companies currently market oral diabetes, insomnia, rheumatology, and gastroenterology and cardiovascular treatments and seek to bring innovative products to patients through a pipeline that includes compounds in development for metabolic and cardiovascular disease, gastroenterology, neurology and other conditions. To learn more about these Takeda companies, visit www.takeda.us.
SOURCE Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.