Pegloticase (KRYSTEXXA®)

What is Pegloticase (KRYSTEXXA®)?

Pegloticase is a prescription medicine used in adults to help reduce the signs and symptoms of gout that are not controlled by other treatments used to lower blood uric acid levels in adults with gout.  Uric acid comes from substances called purines. Most purines come from within your body but they also come from food and drinks. Pegloticase works in adults with gout by stopping the body from turning purines into uric acid.  Pegloticase is commonly known as Krystexxaâ. If you have a rare blood problem called glucose-6-­phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency or favism do not take pegloticase. Your doctor may test you for G6PD before you start.

How do I take it?

You will receive Pegloticase through a needle in your vein (i.v. infusion). Your treatment will take about 2 hours or sometimes longer. A doctor or nurse will give you the treatment. You will receive Pegloticase every 2 weeks. You will have frequent blood work to monitor your uric acid.

What about side effects?

Serious allergic reactions may happen in some people who receive Pegloticase. These allergic reactions can be life threatening and usually happen within 2 hours of the infusion. Pegloticase should be given to you by a doctor or nurse in a healthcare setting where serious allergic reactions can be treated. Your doctor or nurse should watch you for any signs of a serious allergic reaction during and after your treatment. Tell your nurse immediately if you have any of the following while receiving pegloticase:

  • wheezing, shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness, chest pain, or trouble breathing
  • dizziness, fainting, fast or weak heartbeat or feeling nervous
  • reddening of the face, itching, hives, or feeling warm
  • swelling of the throat or tongue, throat tightness, hoarse voice or trouble swallowing

What about other medications?

When you are taking Pegloticase it is very important that your doctors know if you are taking any other medicine. This includes prescription and non-prescription medicines as well as birth control pills, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

What else should I know?

Gout may flare up when you start taking medicine (e.g., febuxostat, allopurinol, and probenecid) to lower your uric acid. This may be caused when crystals begin to dissolve in your joints as your uric acid level goes down. Your healthcare professional may tell you to take other medicines to help prevent or manage flares during initial treatment. If your healthcare professional gives you medicine to lower your uric acid, you should keep taking it, even between attacks.

Updated: April 25, 2012

Victoria Ruffing, RN

About Victoria Ruffing, RN

Ms. Ruffing has been a member of the Arthritis Center since 2000, currently serving as the Nurse Manager. She is a critical member of our patient care team.