Febuxostat is used to treat gout in adults who were not treated successfully with or who are not able to take allopurinol (Aloprim, Zyloprim). Gout is a type of arthritis in which uric acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body, builds up in the joints and causes sudden attacks of redness, swelling, pain, and heat in one or more joints. Febuxostat is in a class of medications called xanthine oxidase inhibitors. It works by decreasing the amount of uric acid that is made in the body. Febuxostat is used to prevent gout attacks but not to treat them once they occur.
Side Effects Of Febuxostat
Febuxostat may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if either of these symptoms is severe or does not go away:
- joint pain
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the WARNINGS section, call your doctor immediately:
- rash; skin redness or pain; blistering of lips, eyes, or mouth; skin peeling; or fever and other flu-like symptoms
- swollen face, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat
- yellow eyes or skin; dark urine; or pain or discomfort in the right upper stomach area
Febuxostat may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking febuxostat:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to febuxostat, allopurinol, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in febuxostat tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor if you are taking azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran) or mercaptopurine (Purinethol, Purixan). Your doctor will probably tell you not to take febuxostat if you are taking one or more of these medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention theophylline (Elixophyllin, Theo-24, others) or cancer chemotherapy medications. 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 an organ transplant; cancer; Lesch-Nyhan syndrome (an inherited disease that causes high levels of uric acid in the blood, joint pain, and problems with motion and behavior); or kidney or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking febuxostat, call your doctor.
Febuxostat comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take febuxostat at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take febuxostat exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may increase your dose of febuxostat after 2 weeks if a laboratory test shows that you still have too much uric acid in your blood.
It may take several months before febuxostat begins to prevent gout attacks. Febuxostat may increase the number of gout attacks during the first few months of your treatment. Your doctor may prescribe another medication such as colchicine (Colcyrs, Mitigare) or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to prevent gout attacks during the first 6 months of your treatment. Continue to take febuxostat even if you have gout attacks during your early treatment.
Febuxostat controls gout but does not cure it. Continue to take febuxostat even if you feel well. Do not stop taking febuxostat without talking to your doctor.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body’s response to febuxostat.
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.