Generic Name: allopurinol (AL-oh-PURE-i-nol)
Brand Name: Zyloprim
Allopurinol is used for:
Treating gout. It is used to treat high uric acid levels in the blood or urine caused by certain types of cancer chemotherapy. It is also used to treat certain patients with a certain type of kidney stones and high amounts of uric acid in the urine. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Allopurinol is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor. It works by lowering the body's production of uric acid.
Do NOT use allopurinol if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in allopurinol
- you do not have symptoms caused by high blood uric acid levels
- you are taking didanosine or pegloticase
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using allopurinol:
Some medical conditions may interact with allopurinol. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have kidney or liver problems, heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure), bone marrow problems, high blood pressure, or diabetes
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with allopurinol. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Amoxicillin or ampicillin because the risk of developing a skin rash may be increased
- Chlorpropamide because the risk of low blood sugar may be increased
- Oral anticoagulants (eg, dicumarol, warfarin) because the risk of bleeding may be increased by allopurinol
- Thiazide diuretics (eg, hydrochlorothiazide) or uricosurics (eg, probenecid) because they may increase the risk of allopurinol's side effects
- Azathioprine, cyclosporine, didanosine, mercaptopurine, or sulfinpyrazone because the risk of their side effects may be increased by allopurinol
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if allopurinol may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use allopurinol:
Use allopurinol as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take allopurinol by mouth after meals to decrease stomach upset.
- Drinking extra fluids while you are taking allopurinol is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
- Continue to take allopurinol even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
- If you miss a dose of allopurinol, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use allopurinol.
Important safety information:
- Allopurinol may cause drowsiness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use allopurinol with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Some patients may experience an increase in gout attacks for several months after beginning to take allopurinol. Your doctor may prescribe a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) or colchicine to take to help control or prevent a gout attack. If you experience a gout attack, do not stop taking allopurinol without talking to your doctor. Contact your doctor if you experience frequent or severe gout attacks.
- It may take 2 to 6 weeks to receive the full benefit of allopurinol. Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or stop taking allopurinol without checking with your doctor.
- Allopurinol is not useful for relieving an acute gout attack.
- Follow the diet and exercise program given to you by your health care provider.
- Lab tests, including uric acid levels, may be performed while you use allopurinol. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using allopurinol while you are pregnant. Allopurinol is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use allopurinol, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of allopurinol:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blood in urine or painful urination; burning, numbness, or tingling; decreased urination; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; irritation of the eyes; new or worsening joint pain; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, loss of appetite, pale stools, stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes); unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual muscle pain or weakness; unusual tiredness or weakness.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of allopurinol:
Store allopurinol at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep allopurinol out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about allopurinol, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Allopurinol is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take allopurinol or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about allopurinol. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to allopurinol. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using allopurinol.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More about allopurinol
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- Drug class: antigout agents