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 can be used to prevent rather than treat gout attacks.
The medicine works by blocking uric acid production. Uric acid is a waste product normally 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 chronic gout attacks, manage high uric acid levels brought on by cancer medications, and handle kidney stones. There's also a small number of off-label uses for which your doctor may prescribe allopurinol.
How to Control Uric Acid Levels
High levels of uric acid in the blood, also called hyperuricemia, can result from either increased production of uric acid in the body or decreased excretion of it ...
What is the Availability of Allopurinol?
Allopurinol is available as a 100 mg. capsule. It is taken once or twice daily, usually following a meal.
Are There Any Special Instructions Regarding How to Take Allopurinol?
Patients are advised to follow the prescribing instructions precisely. It is common for the starting serving of allopurinol to become low and gradually increased. Noticeable benefit from taking allopurinol may take months. Actually, during the first few months of use, the medication 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. Patients taking any of the following medications should tell their particular doctor because they may require a serving adjustment:
AmoxicillinAmpicillinCoumadinCytoxanPurinetholDiabineseDiureticsImmunosuppressantsOther gout medicationsWhat common side effects can occur along with allopurinol?
- Allopurinol can cause upset stomach, diarrhea, and drowsiness.
- Rash is one of the more common side effects and can occur despite months or years of remedy.
Are There More Severe Side Effects Associated With Allopurinol?
Uncommon side effects that are more serious if they occur include:
Hypersensitivy reactionsItchingBlood in pee or pain when urinatingEye irritationSwelling around mouth or perhaps lipsSigns of infectionLoss of appetite or unexpected weight lossWhat special alerts 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.
- Too much 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 Expecting or Nursing Women?
You are pregnant, 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 mentioned in humans, allopurinol should only be used after weighing benefit to the patient versus risk to the fetus.
How is It Decided that Allopurinol is Actually an Effective Treatment?
Certain laboratory tests are periodically ordered which help in order 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.