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Table of Contents > Drugs >  Allopurinol
Allopurinol
Pronunciation
Brand Names
Foreign Brand Names
Therapeutic Categories
Reasons not to take this medicine
What is this medicine used for?
How does it work?
How is it best taken?
What do I do if I miss a dose?
What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
What are the common side effects of this medicine?
What should I monitor?
Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
How should I store this medicine?
General statements

Pronunciation
(al oh PURE i nole)

Brand Names
Aloprim™; Zyloprim®

Foreign Brand Names
Apo-Allopurinol® (Canada); Novo-purol® (Canada); Purinol® (Canada); Atisuril® (Mexico); Unizuric® 300 (Mexico)

Therapeutic Categories
Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitor

Reasons not to take this medicine

  • If you have an allergy to allopurinol or any other part of the medicine.


What is this medicine used for?

  • This medicine is used to prevent gout attacks. It may take 2-6 weeks to see the benefit.
  • It is used to prevent arthritis and kidney problems caused by gout.
  • It prevents high blood levels of uric acid. This occurs in patients being treated for cancer.
  • Other uses include treatment of kidney stones and prevention of side effects due to fluorouracil.


How does it work?

  • Allopurinol decreases production of uric acid. Too much uric acid causes gout attacks, arthritis, and kidney problems.


How is it best taken?

  • Take with or without food. Take with food if this medicine causes an upset stomach.
  • Drink 10-12 glasses of liquid every day unless told to drink less liquid by healthcare provider.
  • A liquid (suspension) is available if you cannot swallow pills. Those who have feeding tubes can also use the liquid. Flush the feeding tube before and after medicine is given. Shake well first.
  • Do not take antacids within 3-6 hours of using this medicine.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as possible.
  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Return to your regular schedule.
  • Do not take a double dose or extra doses.


What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  • Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines. If you are on azathioprine, mercaptopurine, captopril, enalapril, or ampicillin, tell healthcare provider.
  • You may not be alert. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities until you see how this medicine affects you.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are on warfarin. You may need your INR checked in 2 weeks from starting medicine.
  • Avoid alcohol (includes wine, beer, and liquor). It decreases this medicine's effectiveness.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.


What are the common side effects of this medicine?

  • Feeling sleepy or unable to think clearly. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities that require you to be alert until you see how this medicine affects you.
  • Skin rash.


What should I monitor?

  • Follow up with healthcare provider.


Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Pain with urination or blood in urine.
  • Any rash.


How should I store this medicine?

  • Store in a tight, light-resistant container at room temperature.
  • Suspension can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
  • Throw away suspension after 2 months.


General statements

  • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
  • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs, vitamins).


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