Allopurinol is a generic name for a drug that removes excess uric acid from the blood. It is used to treat diseases like kidney stones and gout. Allopurinol is available under the brand name Zyloprim.
Allopurinol is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor that can inhibit the enzymes that facilitate purine metabolism, which reduces the amount of uric acid in the blood. Excessive amounts of uric acids can lead to diseases like gout (a condition like arthritis), certain kinds of kidney stones and inflammatory bowel disease. Some types of cancer treatments, like chemotherapy, can increase the amount of uric acid in the blood, which can be treated with Allopurinol.
Allopurinol does not cure gout or other diseases. The drug is only effective in preventing gout attacks, not treating them once they occur.
Allopurinol is listed as an “essential medicine in a basic health care system” by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Allopurinol is available as orally administered tablets. Inactive ingredients in Allopurinol tablets may include potato starch, corn starch, lactose, povidone, magnesium stearate and artificial coloring such as FD&C Yellow No. 6.
Dosage of Allopurinol will vary depending on the brand of drug, the condition being treated, the severity of the condition, response to treatment and physician recommendation.
Carefully follow all directions printed in the patient information leaflet provided with each brand of Allopurinol.
Take Allopurinol exactly as prescribed. Taking more or less of the drug could result in severe side effects or the condition being left untreated.
It’s highly recommended to swallow Allopurinol tablets with plenty of water. Drinking between 8 and 10 full glasses of water can help reduce the risk of kidney stones. Otherwise, take Allopurinol as directed by a healthcare provider.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not take Allopurinol if allergic to any of the ingredients in the drug. Signs of an allergic reaction to Allopurinol include skin rashes and hives. Immediately seek emergency medical care if any signs of an allergic reaction, even mild ones, are noticed after taking Allopurinol.
Discuss with a physician the risks of taking Allopurinol if pregnant, breastfeeding or attempting to get pregnant.
Allopurinol may lower white blood cells and platelets in the bloodstream, increasing the risk for bleeding out from an injury or getting an infection. It’s highly recommended to regularly test blood when taking Allopurinol.
Do not consume alcohol while taking Allopurinol. Alcohol is highly likely to make the medical condition worse.
It may not be safe to drive or engage in similar activity while taking Allopurinol as the drug could possibly impair thinking.
Allopurinol may pose higher safety risks for patients with diabetes, congestive heart disease, high blood pressure or liver disease.
Allopurinol may cause one or more of the following side effects:
Changes to sense of taste
Side effects are not limited to the above.
Rare severe side effects of Allopurinol include pain or bleeding when urinating, loss of appetite, symptoms of flu-like infections, joint pain, easy bruising, skin rashes and unusual bleeding. Immediately report to a doctor is these side effects are experienced while taking Allopurinol.