How Long Is The Treatment Continued
Treatment with allopurinol may be continued indefinitely as long as it is effective and as long as no serious side effects occur.
If you stop allopurinol treatment there is a high risk that your gout may worsen. It is very important not to stop your treatment unless advised by your doctor or unless side effects develop.
What Is This Medicine
ALLOPURINOL reduces the amount of uric acid the body makes. It is used to treat the symptoms of gout. It is also used to treat or prevent high uric acid levels that occur as a result of certain types of chemotherapy. This medicine may also help patients who frequently have kidney stones.
This medicine may be used for other purposes ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME: Zyloprim
What To Do In Case You Take Too Much Allopurinol
If you think youve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor. You can also call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
When you get allopurinol from the pharmacy, the pharmacist will add an expiration date to the label on the bottle. This date is typically 1 year from the date they dispensed the medication.
The expiration date helps guarantee that the medication is effective during this time. The of the Food and Drug Administration is to avoid using expired medications. If you have unused medication that has gone past the expiration date, talk with your pharmacist about whether you might still be able to use it.
Recommended Reading: What Are The Remedies For Gout
What Side Effects Are Possible With This Medication
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- nausea or vomiting occurring without other side effects
- stomach pain occurring without other side effects
- hair loss
Although most of the side effects listed below don’t happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in hands or feet
- signs of anemia
- signs of clotting problems
- signs of kidney problems
- swelling of face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
- vision changes
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
What Is The Most Important Information I Should Know About Allopurinol
You should not use allopurinol if you are allergic to it.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- kidney disease
- high blood pressure
- if you are receiving chemotherapy or
- if you have a gene variation called HLA-B*58:01 allele .
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.
Read Also: Why Did I Suddenly Get Gout
Does Allopurinol Treatment Worsen Acute Gout
Its possible that using allopurinol oral tablets can trigger acute gout .
Gout attacks occur when theres too much uric acid in your blood. Gout attacks are temporary flare-ups of severe pain and swelling. They start suddenly and keep coming back over time.
Experts dont fully understand why some people who take allopurinol have gout attacks. But the risk seems to lessen if your doctor starts you on a low dose of allopurinol.
To learn more, see Gout attacks in the Allopurinol oral tablet side effects section above. You can also talk with your doctor.
Allopurinol Oral Tablet Side Effects
Allopurinol oral tablets can cause mild and serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking allopurinol. These lists do not include all possible side effects.
For more information about the possible side effects of allopurinol, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.
Note: The Food and Drug Administration tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect youve had with allopurinol, you can do so through MedWatch.
Taking Allopurinol With Painkillers
Your doctor may prescribe a NSAID (such as diclofenac or naproxen or a medicine called colchicine to help prevent or to deal with attacks of gout especially in the early stages of allopurinol treatment.
Dosage For Recurrent Kidney Stones
Typical dosage is 200300 mg per day taken in a single or divided doses.
This medication hasnt been studied and shouldnt be used in people younger than 18 years for this condition.
The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.
Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different dosing schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.
- For people with kidney disease: Depending on how well your kidneys are working, your doctor will lower your dose. Your doctor will decide your dosage based on your creatinine clearance. This is a test that measures your kidney function.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Other Uses For This Medicine
Allopurinol is also sometimes used to treat seizures, pain caused by pancreas disease, and certain infections. It is also sometimes used to improve survival after bypass surgery, to reduce ulcer relapses, and to prevent rejection of kidney transplants. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Some Side Effects Can Be Serious The Following Symptoms Are Uncommon But If You Experience Any Of Them Call Your Doctor Immediately:
- skin rash
- swelling of the lips or mouth
- fever, sore throat, chills, and other signs of infection
- loss of appetite
- unexpected weight loss
Allopurinol may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .
Why Is This Medication Prescribed
Allopurinol is used to treat gout, high levels of uric acid in the body caused by certain cancer medications, and kidney stones. Allopurinol is in a class of medications called xanthine oxidase inhibitors. It works by reducing the production of uric acid in the body. High levels of uric acid may cause gout attacks or kidney stones. Allopurinol is used to prevent gout attacks, not to treat them once they occur.
Dietary Changes To Minimize Medicines
Although gout may be inevitable for some, dietary and lifestyle changes may reduce gout flare-ups and reduce the needs for drugs. Certain foods, such as red meat, some seafood and alcohol, are known to contain high levels of purines, substances in plant and animal food that your body converts to uric acid. Bhatt recommends a vegetarian, low-purine diet to decrease the likelihood of gout attacks. Low-purine foods include low-fat non-fat dairy products, vegetables, nuts and grains. He also recommends that patients maintain a healthy weight, as obesity is associated with gout.
The Gout & Uric Acid Education Society also recommends limiting intake of fruits that contain a high level of fructose, a naturally occuring sugar, as well as cutting back on soft drinks, which contain high-fructose corn syrup. Fruits high in fructose include apples, grapes, peaches and pears. In addition, you should avoid cereals, ice cream, candy and fast food, as they can be high in sugar and salt.
As part of the long-running Nurses Health Study, researchers looked at the relationship between coffee consumption and the risk of gout in nearly 90,000 women over the course of 26 years. It found a reduced risk for women who consumed coffee, according to a 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Edwards says drinking cherry juice can decrease gout flare-ups, but patients who need a uric acid medication need to stay with it for life.
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The Side Effects Of Allopurinol In The Liver
Allopurinol, basically adds to the burden of the liver and the kidneys. However, this is just a minor effect. The allopurinol is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor. This just means that it is capable of bonding with the xanthine oxidase, the enzyme that bonds with the purine. It actually competes with the purine so the purine will not be broken down into uric acid. The allopurinol is actually an attention seeker that reacts with the purine xanthine oxidase so itll not react with the purine.
You might as, where does purine go? Well, itll return to the blood stream. The purine is significant as a building block of the body so it isnt considered as a trash by the liver. The concentration of the purine isnt reduced, however, the concentration of the xanthine oxidase is being reduced. Since purine is still available, the liver will keep on pumping xanthine oxidase in order to break it down. The liver may not produce loads of xanthine oxidase instantly, thats the reason why the allopurinol overpowers the purine temporarily and lowers the production of uric acid.
In simple terms, the allopurinol cheats the system and overloads the liver. This is just the start of the side effects of allopurinol. The liver damage may arise here. Furthermore, more damage will start too, just as the homeostatic turbulences in the regulation of the pH level balance of the blood. The liver condition will also cause morose diseases such as TEN.
Side Effects Requiring Immediate Medical Attention
Along with its needed effects, allopurinol 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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking allopurinol:
- Ankle, knee, or great toe joint pain
- joint stiffness or swelling
- rash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin
Financial And Insurance Assistance
Financial assistance to help you pay for allopurinol oral tablets may be available.
Medicine Assistance Tool and NeedyMeds are two websites offering resources that may help decrease the price you pay for allopurinol oral tablets. They also offer tools to help you find low-cost healthcare, as well as educational resources. To learn more, visit their sites.
Dosage For Reducing Uric Acid Levels During Cancer Treatment
To reduce uric acid levels, youll likely take allopurinol oral tablets starting 2 or 3 days before receiving your cancer treatment. Youll continue this until 3 to 7 days after chemotherapy or for as long as your doctor advises.
The typical dosage for this use is 600 mg to 800 mg per day. Your doctor will tell you whether youll divide this into two or three doses throughout the day. Be sure to take each dose after a meal and drink plenty of water.
Allopurinol Oral Tablet Use With Other Drugs
Its common for doctors to prescribe other medications in combination with allopurinol oral tablets. This is because allopurinol doesnt provide immediate results. It can take days to begin working and weeks to lower your uric acid levels within a normal range.
The other drugs that you may take with allopurinol can vary with your condition. Below are a few examples for each condition that allopurinol oral tablets are approved to treat.
Allopurinol oral tablets may be used with other drugs for gout, including:
Allopurinol oral tablets may be used with other drugs for kidney stones that keep coming back, including:
- potassium citrate
- sodium citrate
How Long Does It Take To Work
Youll need to take allopurinol oral tablets for 2 to 3 days for the drug to start working.
Your doctor will typically start you at a low dosage and gradually increase it over time. Because of this, it usually takes 1 to 3 weeks for allopurinol to lower your blood levels of uric acid to within the normal range.
Do Side Effects Of Allopurinol Vary By The Tablet Strength
Its possible that some side effects of allopurinol may be more severe or more likely to occur with a high strength. But your doctor wont start your treatment with a high strength of the drug. Instead, theyll typically start you with a low dosage and slowly increase it over time.
If you develop a skin rash or other serious side effects at any dose, your doctor will have you stop taking allopurinol oral tablets.
If you have other questions about the side effects of allopurinol oral tablets, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
How Should I Use This Medicine
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. If this medicine upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 6 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
How Was Your Experience With Allopurinol
Allopurinol is a prescription medication used to prevent gout, not to treat gout attacks once they occur.
It is also used to prevent kidney stones and high levels of uric acid in the body due to cancer treatment.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Allopurinol Oral Tablet Interactions
Allopurinol oral tablets can interact with several other medications. They can also interact with certain supplements as well as certain foods.
Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.
Allopurinol Side Effects To Be Aware Of
The most common allopurinol side effects are upset stomach, diarrhea and drowsiness, according to the National Institutes of Health.
But research has identified other rare but more serious side effects may be linked to allopurinol use. The most serious is Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis .
In adults, SJS/TEN is generally caused by a reaction to medication. Allopurinol is among the drugs most likely to cause SJS/TEN in the United States.
SJS/TEN was once thought to be two separate conditions, but its now considered a continuum of the same reaction, according to the National Institutes of Health. Starting with flu-like symptoms, SJS/TEN progresses in a few days to blistering and peeling of the skin, resembling a hot water burn.
SJS/TEN and other symptoms that require immediate medical attention while taking allopurinol:
- Skin rash
Takeda Pharmaceuticals has also faced Uloric lawsuits since that drug was hit with FDA heart risk warnings in 2019.
Peter Gust Karidis filed a lawsuit in October 2019 claiming he suffered a heart attack after taking Uloric for gout, according to Law360. His complaint said the FDAs approval of the drug was dependent on Takeda completing heart safety trials by 2014. The results of the trials were not completed until 2019.
Karidis started taking Uloric in 2016, two years after the deadline but nearly three years before a warning about heart risks was added to the drug label.
Who Can And Cannot Take Allopurinol
Allopurinol can be taken by adults and sometimes children.
Allopurinol is not suitable for certain people.
Talk to a doctor or pharmacist if you:
- have ever had an allergic reaction to allopurinol or any other medicine
- are of Han Chinese, Thai or Korean origin
- have problems with your liver or kidneys
- currently have an attack of gout
- have thyroid problems
How Allopurinol Works
Allopurinol belongs to a class of drugs called xanthine oxidase inhibitors. A drug class is a group of medications that have a similar mechanism of action .
High levels of uric acid in your blood or urine can cause gout, arthritis, and kidney stones. By blocking the action of xanthine oxidase, allopurinol works to lower the production of uric acid in your body.