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Medications > Gold (Myochrisine) > Gold (Myochrisine) – Detailed Information

Gold – Sodium Aurothiomalate (Myochrisine®)

What is Gold?

Gold is a Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drug (DMARD).  Gold is used for the treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, and many other types of arthritis.

How does Gold work?

The mechanism by which Gold has its benefit in arthritis is unknown.

Why am I taking Gold?

Your doctor has prescribed this medicine to help with the following:

  • Reduce the pain and swelling (inflammation) in your joints.
  • Improve your day to day function.
  • Reduce any long-term damage from the joint inflammation.

What is the usual dose and how often do I take Gold?

  • Gold is taken as an injection into the muscle (intramuscular)
  • The injections are given ONCE A WEEK.
  • A very small “test dose” (10 mg) is given on the first week to make sure you are not sensitive to gold.  The second injection, a week later, builds up to 25 mg.
  • If all is well with the first two injections, a dose of 50 mg will be given every week.
  • If you respond very well to gold, it may be possible to decrease the frequency of your injections to every two weeks or every month.
  • Injections are usually given by your doctor or a nurse.

Who should Not take Gold?

  • Patients who have had a previous serious reaction to Gold.
  • Some patients with diseases of the kidney or blood disorders.
  • Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

When will I start to feel the effects of Gold?

Gold does not work right away.  It will take about 12 weeks before you start feeling the effects.  The maximum effect can take up to 12 months.

What should I Avoid while taking Gold?

It is advisable to avoid pregnancy while taking gold.  However, gold has been used safely in pregnancy.

Which Medications are safe to take with Gold?

Your rheumatologist may decide to add other medications to treat your arthritis.

Some of the other medications which may be safely added to Gold include: Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Prednisone, and Other DMARDs (i.e. Sulfasalazine, Methotrexate, and Hydroxychloroquine).

What are the side-effects of Gold?

MORE COMMON side-effects include:

  • Skin Rash: Usually itchy, red, and scaly with tiny bumps.  It can appear anywhere on the body.  Generally it is mild and goes away on its own within a few weeks if the gold is stopped.  A rash does not mean you will have to stop gold altogether.  When the rash disappears the gold can be started at a lower dose.
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Metallic taste
  • Some patients experience aching muscles or joints after an injection.

RARE side-effects include:

  • Allergy like Reaction – Some patients experience weakness, faintness, dizziness, or nausea after receiving the gold injection.  This usually goes away after you lie down for a few minutes.
  • Kidneys – Gold may irritate the kidneys.  This may not cause symptoms but may be found on blood and urine tests.  It is uncommon and usually reversible when regularly monitored with your blood and urine tests.
  • Blood Counts – Gold can cause a drop in the numbers of red blood cells (which carry oxygen), white blood cells (which are needed to fight infection) and platelets (which help to stop bleeding).  Because we monitor the blood count very closely, it is unusual for this to be a serious problem.
  • Liver, Intestine, and Lungs – There are rare reports of Gold damaging the liver, intestine or lungs.  Fortunately, this is very rare.

How can I help to minimize the side-effects of Gold?

  • Inform your doctor of any rashes, itchiness, or mouth sores prior to each injection.
  • Get your blood and urine tests done as scheduled.

Do I need to have regular blood tests while taking Gold?

YES, you will need BLOOD & URINE TESTS.  This is important to make sure the Gold is having no harmful effects on your kidneys, liver, or blood counts.  The tests are done every week for a while and then possibly less frequently unless you are having problems.

How do I stop the Gold?

You do not need to wean yourself off the Gold.  It can simply be stopped.  However, your arthritis may “flare” after you stop the medicine.

Is Gold safe in pregnancy?

It is generally advisable to avoid all medications during pregnancy and while you are trying to become pregnant.  If you are pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant, or breast feeding discuss the risks and benefits of gold treatment with your doctor.  However, Gold has been used safely and successfully to treat arthritis during pregnancy.

Please notify your doctor if you become pregnant while taking Gold.