Pseudogout symptoms can mimic those of gout and other types of arthritis, so lab and imaging tests are usually necessary to confirm a diagnosis.


Blood tests can check for problems with your thyroid and parathyroid glands, as well as for mineral imbalances that have been linked to pseudogout.

To test the fluid in your affected joint for the presence of crystals, your health care provider may withdraw a sample of the fluid with a needle. This procedure is called joint aspiration (arthrocentesis).

X-rays of your affected joint often can reveal joint damage and crystal deposits in the joint's cartilage.

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There's no cure for pseudogout, but a combination of treatments can help relieve pain and improve the joint's function.


If over-the-counter pain relievers aren't enough, your health care provider may suggest:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Prescription strength NSAIDs include naproxen (Naprosyn) and indomethacin (Indocin). NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding and decreased kidney function, especially in older adults.
  • Colchicine (Colcrys, Mitigare). Low-dose pills of this gout drug are also effective for pseudogout. If you have frequent episodes of pseudogout, you may be advised to take colchicine daily as a preventive measure.
  • Corticosteroids. If you can't take NSAIDs or colchicine, your health care provider may suggest taking corticosteroid pills, such as prednisone, to reduce inflammation and end the attack. Long-term use of corticosteroids can weaken bones and cause cataracts, diabetes and weight gain.

Joint drainage

Removing some of the joint fluid can relieve pain and pressure in an affected joint. A needle is used to remove the fluid. The process also helps remove some of the crystals from the joint. The joint is then injected with a numbing medication and a corticosteroid to decrease inflammation.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Home treatments may be useful during pseudogout flare-ups. Examples include:

  • NSAIDs. Over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve), often are helpful.
  • Rest the joint. Try not to use the affected joint for a couple of days.
  • Ice. Cold packs can help reduce the inflammation associated with flare-ups.

Preparing for your appointment

You'll probably first see your family health care provider. After an initial examination, your provider may refer you to a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory joint conditions (rheumatologist).

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

Before your appointment, you may want to write a list of answers to the following questions:

  • When did your symptoms begin?
  • Have you had these symptoms before?
  • Does any activity or position make your joint feel better or worse?
  • Have you ever injured this joint?
  • Do you have any other medical conditions?
  • Has anyone in your family had joint problems?
  • What medicines or supplements do you take regularly?

What to expect from your doctor

A health care provider who sees you for symptoms common to pseudogout may ask a number of questions. You might be asked:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • What part or parts of your body are affected?
  • Do your symptoms come and go?
  • How long do symptoms last?
  • Have your symptoms worsened over time?
  • Does anything seem to trigger your symptoms, such as injury, overuse of the joint, dehydration, recent surgeries or other illnesses?
  • Have you tried any treatments? Has anything helped?
July 28, 2022
  1. Calcium pyrophosphate deposition (CPPD). American College of Rheumatology. https://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases_And_Conditions/Calcium_Pyrophosphate_Deposition_%28CPPD%29_%28formerly_called_Pseudogout%29/. Accessed May 7, 2022.
  2. Rosenthal AK. Pathogenesis and etiology of calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposition (CPPD) disease. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed May 7, 2022.
  3. Becker MA, et al. Treatment of calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposition disease (CPPD). https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed May 7, 2022.
  4. Becker MA, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposition disease (CPPD). https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed May 7, 2022.
  5. Calcium pyrophosphate deposition (CPPD) disease. Arthritis Foundation. http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/calcium-pyrophosphate-deposition-disease-cppd/. Accessed May 7, 2022.
  6. Iqbal SM, et al. Updated treatment for calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease: An insight. Cureus. 2019; doi:10.7759/cureus.3840.
  7. Stack J. Calcium pyrophosphate deposition (CPPD) disease — Treatment options. Best Practice & Research: Clinical Rheumatology. 2021; doi:10.1016/j.berh.2021.101720.
  8. Firestein GS, et al. Calcium crystal disease: Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate and basic calcium phosphate. In: Firestein & Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 11th ed. Elsevier; 2021. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 7, 2022.


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