The Food and Drug Administration yesterday alerted health care providers and the public to an increased risk of heart-related death from a drug used to treat gout, a type of arthritis in adults. Preliminary results from a safety clinical trial of the drug febuxostat (Uloric) show an increased risk of heart-related death compared to the gout medicine allopurinol, FDA said. “Health care professionals should consider this safety information when deciding whether to prescribe or continue patients on febuxostat,” the agency said. Febuxostat drug labels already carry a warning about cardiovascular events because the drug showed a higher rate of heart-related problems in clinical trials conducted before approval. “We are continuing to evaluate this safety issue and will update the public when we have more information,” FDA said. “We urge health care professionals and patients to report side effects involving febuxostat or other medicines to the FDA MedWatch program.”

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