Health Guide
Drug Guide

Gold compound (Oral route, parenteral route)

Brand Names:

Dosage Forms:

Uses of This Medicine:

The gold compounds are used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. They may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

In addition to the helpful effects of this medicine in treating your medical problem, it has side effects that can be very serious. Before you take this medicine, you should discuss with your doctor the good that this medicine will do as well as the risks of using it.

Auranofin is available only with your doctor's prescription. The other gold compounds are given by your health care professional.

Schering-Plough discontinued aurothioglucose in May 2002.

Before Using This Medicine:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to medicines in this group or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Auranofin has been tested only in adult patients and there is no specific information about its use in children. However, gold sodium thiomalate have been tested in children and have not been shown to cause different side effects or problems than they do in adults.

Older adults

These medicines have been tested and have not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than they do in younger adults.


Studies on birth defects with gold compounds have not been done in humans. However, studies in animals have shown that gold compounds may cause birth defects.


Gold sodium thiomalate pass into the breast milk and may cause unwanted effects in nursing babies. It is not known whether auranofin passes into the breast milk.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking any of these medicines, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using medicines in this class with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with a medication in this class or change some of the other medicines you take.

Using medicines in this class with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Other interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of medicines in this class. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Proper Use of This Medicine:

In order for this medicine to work, it must be taken regularly as ordered by your doctor. Continue receiving the injections or taking auranofin even if you think the medicine is not working. You may not notice the effects of this medicine until after three to six months of regular use.

For patients taking auranofin:

If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.


The dose medicines in this class will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of these medicines. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Missed dose

Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

For patients taking auranofin: If you miss a dose of this medicine, and your dosing schedule is


Keep out of the reach of children.

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

Gold compounds may cause some people to become more sensitive to sunlight than they are normally. These people may break out in a rash after being in the sun, or a skin rash that is already present may become worse. To protect yourself, it is best to:

If you have a severe reaction from the sun, check with your doctor.

For patients taking auranofin:

For patients receiving gold injections:

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Gold compounds have been shown to cause tumors and cancer of the kidney when given to animals in large amounts for a long time. However, these effects have not been reported in humans receiving gold compounds for arthritis. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

More common
Irritation or soreness of tongue less common with auranofin
metallic taste less common with auranofin
redness, soreness, swelling, or bleeding of gums rare with auranofin
skin rash or itching
ulcers, sores, or white spots on lips or in mouth or throat
Less common
Bloody or cloudy urine
Abdominal or stomach pain, cramping, or burning (severe)
bloody or black, tarry stools
convulsions (seizures)
coughing, hoarseness, difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, tightness in chest, or wheezing
dark urine
decreased urination
decreased vision
difficulty in swallowing
feeling of something in the eye
hair loss
hallucinations (hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there)
irritation of nose, throat, or upper chest area, possibly with hoarseness or coughing
irritation of vagina
nausea, vomiting, or heartburn (severe and/or continuing)
numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness, especially in the face, hands, arms, or feet
pale stools
painful or difficult urination
pain in lower back, side, or lower abdomen (stomach) area
pain, redness, itching, or tearing of eyes
pinpoint red spots on skin
problems with muscle coordination
red, thickened, or scaly skin
sore throat and fever with or without chills
swelling of face, fingers, ankles, lower legs, or feet
swellings (large) on face, eyelids, mouth, lips, and/or tongue
swollen and/or painful glands
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common with auranofin; rare with injections
Abdominal or stomach cramps or pain (mild or moderate)
bloated feeling, gas, or indigestion (mild or moderate)
decrease or loss of appetite
diarrhea or loose stools
nausea or vomiting (mild or moderate)
Less common
Constipation with auranofin
joint pain with

Some patients receiving auranofin have noticed changes in the taste of certain foods. If you notice a metallic taste while receiving any gold compound, check with your doctor as soon as possible. If you notice any other taste changes while you are taking auranofin, it is not necessary to check with your doctor unless you find this effect especially bothersome.

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Last Updated: 10/12/2016

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