GENERIC NAME: PROBENECID - ORAL (proe-BEN-e-sid)
USES: This medication is used to prevent gout and gouty arthritis. It will not treat a sudden/severe attack of gout and may make it worse. Probenecid belongs to a class of drugs known as uricosurics. It lowers high levels of uric acid in your body by helping the kidneys to get rid of uric acid. When uric acid levels get too high, crystals can form in the joints, causing gout. Lowering uric acid levels may also help your kidneys.Probenecid is sometimes used along with penicillin antibiotics (e.g., penicillin, ampicillin, nafcillin) to increase antibiotic blood levels. This increase makes the antibiotic work better at treating certain infections. Probenecid works by decreasing the kidneys' ability to remove the antibiotic from the body.Probenecid should not be used in children younger than 2 years.
HOW TO USE: To prevent gout, take this medication by mouth, usually twice daily with food or antacids to reduce stomach upset or as directed by your doctor. It is best to drink a full glass of water with each dose and at least another 8 glasses (8 ounces each) a day while taking this drug in order to prevent kidney stones. If you are on restricted fluid intake, consult your doctor for further instructions. Your doctor may also instruct you on how to decrease acidity in your urine (e.g., avoid large amounts of ascorbic acid/vitamin C) to prevent kidney stones. Your doctor may order other medications (e.g., sodium bicarbonate, citrate) to make your urine less acidic.Dosage is based on your condition and response to therapy. Your doctor may direct you to take a low dose at first, then adjust your dose based on uric acid levels and your gout symptoms. After you have been symptom-free for several months and your uric acid levels are normal, your doctor may lower your probenecid dose to the lowest effective dose. Follow your doctor's directions carefully.Probenecid should not be started during a sudden/severe gout attack. Wait until your current attack is over before starting this medication. You may experience an increase in the number of gout attacks for several months after starting this medicine while the body removes extra uric acid. If you have a gout attack while taking probenecid, continue taking it along with your medications for gout pain.Probenecid is not a pain reliever. To relieve pain from gout, continue to take your medicines prescribed for pain from gout attacks (e.g., colchicine, ibuprofen, indomethacin) as directed by your doctor.If you are taking this medication to raise the level of antibiotics in your body, follow your doctor's directions for when to take the antibiotic and when to take the probenecid.Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.