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 employed 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 longterm 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.
What is the Option of Allopurinol?
Allopurinol is available as a 100 mg. tablet. It is taken once or twice daily, usually following a meal.
Are There Any Special Guidelines Concerning How to Take Allopurinol?
Patients are advised to follow the prescribing instructions exactly. It is common for the starting dosage 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 attacks. 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. Sufferers taking any of the following medications should inform their own doctor since they may require a dosage adjustment:
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AmoxicillinAmpicillinCoumadinCytoxanPurinetholDiabineseDiureticsImmunosuppressantsOther gout medicationsWhat common side effects can occur along with allopurinol?
- Allopurinol can cause upset stomach, diarrhea, and sleepiness.
- Rash is one of the more common side effects and can occur even after months or years of treatment.
Are There More Severe Side Effects Related to Allopurinol?
Uncommon side effects that are more severe if they occur include:
Hypersensitivy reactionsItchingBlood inside urine or pain when urinatingEye irritationSwelling around mouth or lipsSigns of infectionLoss of urge for food or unexpected weight lossWhat special safety measures 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 ascorbic acid may be problematic in large quantities.
- Too much vitamin C as well as allopurinol can combine to make urine acidic as well as cause kidney stones.
- Patients with kidney problems may need dose adjustment regarding allopurinol.
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Are There Special Instructions for Expecting or Even 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 noted in humans, allopurinol should only be used after weighing benefit to the patient vs. risk to the fetus.
How is It Established that Allopurinol Will be an Effective Treatment?
Certain laboratory tests are periodically bought which help in order to determine if the drug is working efficiently.
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Chris Randon is a nutritionist specialized in human health, which is based in Los angeles, Carlifornia.