Efficacy of febuxostat versus allopurinol and the predictors of achieving target serum urate in a cohort of Thai people with gout



The objectives of our study were to compare the efficacy of febuxostat with allopurinol in Thai subjects with gout, as well as to determine the predictive factors of responsiveness to urate-lowering agents and to evaluate the safety of febuxostat in a real-world setting.


The study was a retrospective cohort study; a total of 354 gout patients were recruited from February 2015 to November 2018. The patients were categorized according to prescription of allopurinol or febuxostat. Demographic data, comorbidities, concomitant medications, gout-related clinical parameters, and the laboratory results were collected. The serial serum urate (sUA) levels were recorded at the beginning of the treatment (baseline), and after treatment at 12 weeks, 18 weeks, and 27 weeks. The primary efficacy endpoint was the achievement of target urate of < 6 mg/dl in people taking febuxostat, compared with those taking allopurinol. The secondary endpoints were the predictive factors of achieving target urate level and adverse drug reactions in patients taking febuxostat. Multivariable regression analysis was used to determine factors associated with achieving target serum urate.


After the treatment, the febuxostat groups had significantly lower mean sUA compared with the allopurinol groups across all follow-up periods. The proportion of people who achieved target serum urate was also higher in the febuxostat groups compared with the allopurinol groups throughout the follow-up periods. The multivariable regression analysis showed that febuxostat 40 mg (OR = 10.96 (95% CI 4.32–27.80); p value < 0.001), febuxostat 80 mg (OR = 9.54 (95% CI 3.91–23.28), smoking (OR = 2.35 (95% CI 1.13–4.91); p value = 0.023), and low baseline serum urate (OR = 0.62 (95% CI 0.52–0.74); p value < 0.001) were associated with the achievement of target serum urate. No adverse drug reaction from febuxostat was observed even among people with renal insufficiency.


In a Thai cohort, people receiving febuxostat are more likely to achieve target serum urate level, compared with people receiving allopurinol. Febuxostat (40 or 80 mg), smoking, and low baseline serum urate were associated with the achievement of target serum urate.

Key points:
• Febuxostat showed superior urate-lowering efficacy compared with allopurinol in an Asian population.
• In addition to febuxostat, lower baseline serum urate level and history of smoking were associated with achieving target serum urate in gout patients.

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Correspondence to Kanon Jatuworapruk.

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Lertnawapan, R., Jatuworapruk, K. Efficacy of febuxostat versus allopurinol and the predictors of achieving target serum urate in a cohort of Thai people with gout. Clin Rheumatol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10067-020-05262-6

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  • Allopurinol
  • Febuxostat
  • Gout
  • Urate-lowering therapy
  • Uric acid