probenecid, (Benemid - brand no longer available)

  • 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: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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What is probenecid, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Probenecid is an oral drug used for reducing blood uric acid levels in patients with hyperuricemia (high uric acid) and/or. High uric acid can cause attacks of gout and kidney stones. Probenecid prevents attacks of gout by reducing uric acid levels in the blood. It does this by preventing the reabsorption of uric acid by the kidney and increasing its excretion from the body in the urine. Probenecid also blocks excretion by the kidney of penicillin and related antibiotics and is used for increasing the levels of the antibiotics in the blood and increasing their effectiveness when treating infections.

Is probenecid available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for probenecid?

Yes

What are the uses for probenecid?

Probenecid is used for the treatment of hyperuricemia associated with gout. It also is used for increasing blood levels of penicillin-type antibiotics (for example, ampicillin and amoxicillin) when treating gonorrhea.

What are the side effects of probenecid?

Common side effects of probenecid include:

Probenecid may cause a flare of gout and kidney stones, and it is not started during an acute attack of gout. Serious but rare side effects include reduced red blood cell counts (anemia), liver damage and severe allergic reactions.

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What is the dosage for probenecid?

The usual adult dose for hyperuricemia is 500 mg twice daily and the maximum dose is 2 grams daily. When combined with penicillin type antibiotics to treat infections, the usual dose is 500 mg 4 times daily. Patients should drink plenty of water in order to prevent formation of kidney stones and take probenecid with food or antacid to reduce stomach upset.

Which drugs or supplements interact with probenecid?

Probenecid blocks excretion of some drugs by the kidney and, therefore, may increase blood levels and side effects of methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), for example, ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve), indomethacin (Indocin), ketorolac (Toradol) and others. Aspirin may reduce the action of probenecid through unknown mechanisms.

Is probenecid safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Probenecid has not been adequately studied in pregnant women.

Probenecid has not been adequately studied in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about probenecid?

What preparations of probenecid are available?

Tablets: 0.5 g

How should I keep probenecid stored?

Probenecid should be stored at room temperature, 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F).

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

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Summary

Probenecid (former brand name Benemid) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of gout and kidney stones. Probenecid is also used to increase the blood levels of penicillin type antibiotics used for the treatment of gonorrhea. Side effects, warnings and precautions, and drug interactions should be reviewed prior to taking this medicaiton.

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Reviewed on 1/5/2016
References
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

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