Uses Of Allopurinol
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.
Side Effects Of Allopurinol
Allopurinol may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:
- skin rash
- painful urination
- blood in the urine
- irritation of the eyes
- 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.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking allopurinol:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to allopurinol or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox); ampicillin (Polycillin, Principen); anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin); cancer chemotherapy drugs such as cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) and mercaptopurine (Purinethol); chlorpropamide (Diabinese); diuretics (‘water pills’); medications that suppress the immune system such as azathioprine (Imuran) and cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); other medications for gout such as probenecid (Benemid) and sulfinpyrazone (Anturane); and tolbutamide (Orinase). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney or liver disease or heart failure.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking allopurinol, call your doctor.
- you should know that allopurinol may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking allopurinol. Alcohol may decrease the effectiveness of allopurinol.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to allopurinol.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.