Allopurinol - Chronic Gout Treatment: What You need to know About Allopurinol
Allopurinol (which goes by the brand names Aloprim and Zyloprim) is a drug that belongs to a class of drugs called xanthine oxidase inhibitors. Allopurinol is prescribed for the treatment of chronic gout and also is used to prevent rather than treat gout attacks.
The medicine works by blocking uric acid production. Uric acid is a waste product usually present in the blood as a result of the breakdown of purines. Excessive amounts of uric acid can cause crystals to form in the joints, which can lead to gout.
When is Allopurinol Prescribed?
Allopurinol is prescribed to prevent longterm gout attacks, manage high uric acid levels due to cancer medications, and also handle kidney stones. There's also a handful of off-label uses for which your doctor may prescribe allopurinol.
What is the Option of Allopurinol?
Allopurinol is available as a 100 mg. capsule. It is taken a couple of times daily, usually after a meal.
Are There Virtually Any Special Instructions Regarding How to Take Allopurinol?
Patients are advised to follow the prescribing instructions exactly. It is common for the starting dose of allopurinol being low and gradually increased. Noticeable benefit from taking allopurinol may take months. Actually, during the first few months of use, the medicine may actually increase the number of gout attacks. Eventually, allopurinol will prevent gout episodes. In the interim, colchicine may be prescribed as well. Do not stop taking allopurinol even if you're feeling well.
Are There Patients Who Should Not Take Allopurinol?
Patients who are known to be allergic to allopurinol obviously should not take the medication. Individuals taking any of the following medications should inform their particular doctor because they may require a dosage adjustment:
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AmoxicillinAmpicillinCoumadinCytoxanPurinetholDiabineseDiureticsImmunosuppressantsOther gout medicationsWhat common side effects can occur together with allopurinol?
- Allopurinol can cause upset stomach, diarrhea, and drowsiness.
- Rash is one of the more common side effects and can occur even with months or years of therapy.
Are There More Severe Side Effects Associated With Allopurinol?
Uncommon side effects that are more severe if they occur include:
Hypersensitivy reactionsItchingBlood in pee or pain when urinatingEye irritationSwelling around mouth or lipsSigns of infectionLoss of urge for food or unexpected weight lossWhat special warnings and precautions are associated with allopurinol?
- Patients are advised to drink 8 glasses of water daily (unless a doctor instructs otherwise).
- Alcoholic drinks may decrease the effectiveness of allopurinol.
- Drinks or supplements containing vitamin c may be problematic in large quantities.
- Excessive vitamin C as well as allopurinol can combine to make urine acidic and cause kidney stones.
- Patients with kidney problems may need dose adjustment regarding allopurinol.
Are There Special Instructions for Pregnant or Perhaps Nursing Women?
You are with child, breastfeeding, or considering becoming pregnant, discuss allopurinol with your doctor. Few reports of allopurinol use during pregnancy exist. Although no adverse fetal outcomes associated with allopurinol have been noted in humans, allopurinol should only be used after weighing benefit to the patient vs. risk to the fetus.
How is It Decided that Allopurinol is Actually an Effective Treatment?
Certain laboratory tests are periodically ordered which help to be able to determine if the drug is working successfully.
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Chris Randon is a nutritionist specialized in human health, which is based in Los angeles, Carlifornia.