Allopurinol is prescribed for the treatment of gout, a form of arthritis characterized by the accumulation of uric acid in the joints, resulting in sudden attacks of pain, redness, swelling, and heat in one or more joints. This medication is also used for managing high levels of uric acid that occur in the blood due to chemotherapy-induced tumor breakdown in certain types of cancer. Individuals with high levels of uric acid in their urine who suffer from recurrent kidney stones are also treated with allopurinol.
Allopurinol belongs to the class of xanthine oxidase inhibitors. It functions by decreasing uric acid production in the body, a significant contributor to gout attacks and kidney stones. Allopurinol is a preventive measure and not a curative remedy for gout, therefore it is employed to avoid the occurrence of gout attacks.
Uses and Dosage
To ensure the maximum benefit from this medication, take it orally once daily, or as directed by your physician. To avoid stomach discomfort, take it after a meal.
In the case where your daily dose exceeds 300 milligrams, you will require multiple smaller doses throughout the day as advised by your doctor.
Drink a full glass of water with each dose and at least eight more glasses of fluids per day (each glass containing eight ounces). If your doctor recommends reducing fluid intake due to other medical reasons, consult them for further instructions.
Your physician may also advise on ways to reduce urine acid levels, such as avoiding large amounts of ascorbic acid or vitamin C.
The prescribed dosage is dependent on your medical condition and response to treatment. Consistent usage of this medication is recommended to achieve the desired outcome. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) every day.
It may take several weeks for this medication to be effective in treating gout. Allopurinol is not a pain reliever, gout attack medications such as colchicine, ibuprofen, or indomethacin should be taken as directed by your doctor to alleviate gout pain.
In some cases, patients may experience more gout attacks for a few months after beginning this medication as the body eliminates extra uric acid.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- rash, itching, or hives
- peeling, blistering, or shedding skin
- red or purple spots on skin
- painful urination
- blood in the urine
- irritation of the eyes
- swelling of the lips or mouth
- fever or flu-like symptoms
- swollen glands
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- extreme tiredness
Prior to taking allopurinol, inform your physician or pharmacist of any known allergies to the medication or any severe reactions you may have experienced in the past. Mention any other allergies that you have or may be aware of, as this product contains inactive ingredients that may lead to an allergic reaction or other problems.
Before commencing medication, discuss your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you have a history of liver or kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, or follow unusual diets such as fasting.
This drug may induce drowsiness; therefore, combining it with alcohol or marijuana may exacerbate the effects of drowsiness. Until it is safe to do so, avoid driving, operating machinery, or any other activity requiring alertness. Alcohol may also reduce the efficacy of this drug, limit alcoholic beverages.
During pregnancy, use this medication only when it is clearly necessary, after discussing the potential risks and benefits with your physician.
Allopurinol passes through breast milk. Before breastfeeding, consult with your doctor.
Form and Strength
Zyloprim is available in the following forms and strengths:
Is Zyloprim a life long treatment?
Zyloprim is a long-term treatment to get rid of the urate crystals which causes gout attacks. It is likely that you will need to take it for the rest of your life to manage your urate levels.
How long does it take for Zyloprim to get rid of gout?
It may take two to six weeks before Zyloprim effectively reduces gout attacks.