- What is febuxostat, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for febuxostat?
- Is febuxostat available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for febuxostat?
- What are the side effects of febuxostat?
- What is the dosage for febuxostat?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with febuxostat?
- Is febuxostat safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about febuxostat?
What is febuxostat, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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.
What are the side effects of febuxostat?
Common reactions to febuxostat include:
Other important, but less common side effects include:
What is the dosage for febuxostat?
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.
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Which drugs or supplements interact with febuxostat?
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.
Is febuxostat safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies of febuxostat in pregnant women.
It is not known whether febuxostat is excreted in human milk.
What else should I know about febuxostat?
What preparations of febuxostat are available?
Tablets: 40 and 80 mg
How should I keep febuxostat stored?
Febuxostat should be stored at room temperature between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
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Gout Quiz: What is Gout? Is There a Gout Diet?
Learn what causes those painful crystals to form during a gout flare. Take the Gout Quiz to learn all about this painful...
Picture of Gout
Condition characterized by abnormally elevated levels of uric acid in the blood, recurring attacks of joint inflammation...
Related Disease Conditions
Buildup 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.
Arthritis (Joint Inflammation)
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness and pain. There are over 100 types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, gout, and pseudogout.
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FDA Prescribing information for Uloric