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Allopurinol is used to lower blood levels of uric acids. You can develop sharp crystals in your joints and kidneys if you have too much uric acid or your kidneys don't filter it enough. Allopurinol belongs to a group of medications known as xanthine oxidase inhibitors. It reduces the body's production of uric acids.
High levels of uric acid cause gout attacks or kidney stones. Allopurinol prevents gout attacks and not treat them once they occur.
You may not feel allopurinol's full benefits for several months as it may take time before you feel the full effect of allopurinol. Gout attacks may increase in the first few months after allopurinol begins to work. To help you, your doctor may prescribe a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) and colchicine. Regular use of allopurinol can reduce the risk of developing gout attacks and prevent joint damage.
Allopurinol can also be recommended to treat some other types of cancer treatment. Some treatments may provoke a build-up of uric acid.
Your doctor will likely start you on a low dose and increase it gradually, but not more than once per week.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Never double your dose to make up for a missed dose.
Drink 2 to 3 litres of fluids daily if your doctor has suggested that you take allopurinol with lots of fluids.
Regular blood tests will be conducted to inspect your uric acids levels from time to time. Your doctor might increase your dosage if your uric acids levels are not falling enough. Your doctor might prescribe a lower dose if you have liver or kidney disease and will also monitor you closely.
an allergic reaction to Allopurinol or any other similar medicine
a liver or kidney related disease
an attack of gout
Avoid consuming Allopurinol if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or consult your doctor before you begin taking Allopurinol.
Inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications:
amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox);
ampicillin (Polycillin, Principen);
anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin);
cancer chemotherapy drugs such as cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) and mercaptopurine (Purinethol);
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 modify your doses or monitor you closely for side effects.
Allopurinol may cause side effects like any other medicine. The most common side effects include feeling sick or loss of appetite. You can reduce these side effects by eating little and often and drinking lots of fluids such as water or squash. To avoid dehydration, drink small amounts of water frequently to avoid dehydration.
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