febuxostat, Uloric

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GENERIC NAME: febuxostat

BRAND NAME: Uloric

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Febuxostat is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor used for treating gout caused by excessive levels of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia). Uric acid is formed from the breakdown of certain chemicals (purines) in the body. Hyperuricemia occurs when the body produces more uric acid than it can eliminate. The uric acid forms crystals in joints (gouty arthritis) and tissues, causing inflammation and pain. Elevated blood uric acid levels also can cause kidney disease and kidney stones. Febuxostat prevents the production of uric acid by blocking the activity of the enzyme (xanthine oxidase) that converts purines to uric acid. Uric acid levels may fall to target treatment levels within two weeks. Febuxostat and allopurinol (Zyloprim) are similar in how they work, but the maximum dose of febuxostat is more effective in reducing uric acid levels. The FDA approved febuxostat in February 2009.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 40 and 80 mg

STORAGE: Febuxostat should be stored at room temperature between 15 to 30 C (59 to 86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Febuxostat is used for the management of hyperuricemia in patients with gout.

DOSING: The recommended dose is 40 or 80 mg daily. It may be administered with or without food, and it can be taken with antacids. Flares of gout may increase after febuxostat is started as uric acid moves out of tissues. These gout flares may be prevented with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (for example, indomethacin [Indocin, Indocin-SR]) or colchicine.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Febuxostat may increase blood levels of mercaptopurine (Purinethol), azathioprine (Imuran), and theophylline (Theo-Dur, Respbid, Slo-Bid, Theo-24, Theolair, Uniphyl, Slo-Phyllin) by reducing their breakdown in the body. Therefore, febuxostat should not be administered with mercaptopurine, azathioprine, and theophylline.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of febuxostat in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether febuxostat is excreted in human milk.

SIDE EFFECTS: Common reactions to febuxostat include nausea, rash, joint pain, gout flares, and liver problems. Less common side effects include stroke, heart attack, anemia, hepatitis, hypersensitivity, and weight loss.

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing information for Uloric


Last Editorial Review: 9/13/2010 11:44:58 AM




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