GENERIC NAME: ALLOPURINOL - ORAL (AL-oh-PURE-i-nol)
BRAND NAME(S): Zyloprim
USES: Allopurinol is used to treat gout and certain types of kidney stones. It is also used to prevent increased uric acid levels in patients receiving cancer chemotherapy. These patients can have increased uric acid levels due to release of uric acid from the dying cancer cells. Allopurinol works by reducing the amount of uric acid made by the body. Increased uric acid levels can cause gout and kidney problems.
HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily or as directed by your doctor. Take this medication after a meal to reduce stomach upset. If your dose is more than 300 milligrams a day, you will need to take several smaller doses during the day to get this amount (ask your doctor for directions).It is best to drink a full glass of water with each dose and at least 8 more glasses (8 ounces each) of fluid a day. If your doctor has directed you to drink less fluid for other medical reasons, consult your doctor for further instructions. Your doctor may also instruct you on how to decrease acid in your urine (e.g., avoiding large amounts of ascorbic acid/vitamin C).Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.For the treatment of gout, it may take up to several weeks for this medicine to have an effect. You may have more gout attacks for several months after starting this medicine while the body removes extra uric acid. Allopurinol is not a pain reliever. To relieve pain from gout, continue to take your prescribed medicines for gout attacks (e.g., colchicine, ibuprofen, indomethacin) as directed by your doctor.Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
SIDE EFFECTS: Stomach upset, nausea, diarrhea, or drowsiness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: numbness/tingling of arms/legs, easy bleeding/bruising, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), unusual tiredness, painful/bloody urination, change in the amount of urine, yellowing eyes/skin, severe stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting, dark urine, unusual weight loss, eye pain, vision changes.A very serious (possibly fatal) allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking allopurinol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have had a severe reaction to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), unusual diets (e.g., fasting).This drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.Alcohol may decrease the effectiveness of this drug. Limit alcoholic beverages.Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, older adults may be at greater risk for side effects while using this drug.During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.Allopurinol passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.This drug should not be used with the following medication because very serious interactions may occur: didanosine.If you are currently using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting allopurinol.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: certain asthma drugs (aminophylline, theophylline), azathioprine, "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin), chlorpropamide, cyclosporine, mercaptopurine, "water pills" (e.g., thiazide diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide).This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., uric acid blood levels, liver/kidney function tests, complete blood count) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.If you are taking allopurinol to treat kidney stones, you may benefit from a special diet. Consult your doctor for more details.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store the US product at room temperature between 59-77 degrees F (15-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom.Store the Canadian product at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture.Keep all medicines away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
Latest MedicineNet News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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.
Top allopurinol Related Articles
ChemotherapyChemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with drugs that can destroy cancer cells. These drugs often are called "anticancer" drugs. Chemotherapy is often used with other treatments. Coping with side effects (fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain, hair loss, infection, diarrhea, constipation, fluid retention, mouth and throat problems) are important to understand when undergoing chemotherapy treatment. It is important to eat well during chemotherapy, and get the support you need both during and after treatment.
Chemotherapy Treatment for Breast CancerChemotherapy refers to medications that are administered to kill or slow the growth of cancerous cells. Chemotherapy may be given orally or intravenously. Side effects of breast cancer chemotherapy may include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, increased risk of infection, fatigue, and easy bruising. Receiving chemotherapy causes changes in a woman's menstrual cycle.
Drug interactions occur frequently. Get facts about the types of drug interactions, what substances or other things that may interact with drugs such as OTC drug and prescription drugs, vitamins, food(s) (grapefruit), and laboratory tests. Find out how to protect yourself from potential drug interactions.
Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your DrugsImportant information about your drugs should be reviewed prior to taking any prescription drug. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precauctions, dosage, what the drug is used for, what to do if you miss a dose, how the drug is to be stored, and generic vs. brand names.
Fixed Drug Eruption PictureA large red-violet plaque on the arm of a child. See a picture of Fixed Drug Eruption and learn more about the health topic.
GoutBuildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and redness, typically of a single joint. Gout may be treated with diet and lifestyle changes, as well as medication.
Gout SlideshowGout attacks (gouty arthritis) are caused by crystals of uric acid deposits. Learn about symptoms, causes, treatments and medication for this painful condition.
Gout QuizLearn what causes those painful crystals to form during a gout flare. Take the Gout Quiz to learn all about this painful arthritic condition.
The First Signs of Kidney Stones (Nephrolithiasis)
Kidney stones are solid masses of crystalline material that form in the kidneys. Symptoms of kidney stones can include pain, nausea, vomiting, and even fever and chills. Kidney stones are diagnosed via CT scans and specialized X-rays. Treatment of kidney stones involves drinking lots of fluids and taking over-the-counter pain medications to medical intervention including prescription medications, lithotripsy, and sometimes even surgery.