What It's For & How To Take
Allopurinol is used to treat the symptoms of gout by lowering how much uric acid your body makes. This medication may sometimes help lower the incidence of kidney stones and lessen the uric acid from chemotherapy. Allopurinol does not work to treat a current attack of gout. This medication is used to prevent an attack of gout from happening.
Uric acid builds up when your kidneys are not able to remove it from your body fast enough. Extra uric acid may form tiny sharp crystals which may cause an intense, painful swelling. Over time, these crystals form around your joints as well as in your kidneys. This may lead to painful gout attacks, arthritis and kidney stones.
Allopurinol is usually taken 1-2 times daily with food. Take this medication with a full glass of water.
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.
Your doctor may start you at a low dose and then slowly increase your dose as you tolerate the medication. Rarely, you may have an increase in attacks during the first few weeks of treatment. Most people will have a large decrease in attacks after 2-3 months of treatment.
Allopurinol is not a pain medication. Your doctor may prescribe another medication to help treat a current attack. Let your doctor know if your symptoms do not improve, or get worse over.
Warnings & Cautions
- Taking allopurinol may lower your body's ability to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have infections and always wash your hands well to prevent the spread of an infection. Call your doctor if you have any signs of infection such as fever, sore throat or flu symptoms.
- This medication may make you dizzy, drowsy, or blur your vision. Do not drive or do any activity that requires focus and attention until you are sure you can do them safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages while taking allopurinol.
- The elderly may be at a greater risk of experiencing the side effects of this medication, especially the dizziness and drowsiness.
- Let your pharmacist or doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking this medication.
Interactions & Side Effects
- Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if allopurinol is safe for you to take.
- Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor if you are receiving any chemotherapy as well as all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don't take them very often.
- Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, high blood pressure or diabetes.
- While taking allopurinol, you may feel upset stomach, diarrhea or drowsiness. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
- Call your doctor right away if you have any skin rash, painful urination, swelling or tingling of the lips or mouth, easy bruising or unusual bleeding, or any signs of infection.