allopurinol

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

GENERIC NAME: allopurinol

BRAND NAME: Zyloprim, Aloprim

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

USES: Allopurinol is used for preventing and/or treating acute attacks of gout, erosive destructive gouty joint disease, uric acid deposits in tissues (tophi), gouty kidney disease, and uric acid stones. Allopurinol also is used to prevent elevation of blood uric acid in patients undergoing chemotherapy for the treatment of certain cancers and in patients with recurrent calcium kidney stones and elevated uric acid levels.

SIDE EFFECTS: Common side effects include:

MORE SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS:The most frequent side effect to allopurinol is skin rash. Allopurinol should be discontinued immediately at the first appearance of rash, painful urination, blood in the urine, eye irritation, or swelling of the mouth or lips, because these can be a signs of an impending severe allergic reaction that can be fatal. Allopurinol should be avoided by patients with a prior severe reaction to the drug. Allopurinol can cause a flare-up of gouty arthritis during initial therapy. Therefore, colchicine often is used simultaneously to prevent these flares.

Rarely, allopurinol can cause nerve, kidney, and bone marrow damage. Allopurinol can cause a serious allergic liver toxicity that can be fatal. Appetite loss and itching can be signs of liver toxicity. The risk of this reaction increases in patients with kidney impairment. Patients with kidney impairment should receive lower doses of allopurinol.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/29/2016

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