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Where is Allopurinol used and how does it work?

Allopurinol is a type of medicine called a xanthine oxidase inhibitor that is used for the treatment of gout. This medicine prevents the attacks of gout which occur as a result of a build-up of uric acid crystals in the joints. It is these crystals that cause the characteristic pain and inflammation of gout. By lowering the production of uric acid, flare-ups of gout can be prevented. Allopurinol can also be used for the treatment of:

  • Certain types of kidney stones
  • Certain enzyme disorders

How is Allopurinol taken?

This medication is to be taken by mouth usually once a day or as directed by your doctor. Each dose can be taken after a meal to lessen 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. Drink a full glass of water and at least 8 more glasses of fluid a day while having this treatment. If your doctor has directed you to drink less fluid for other medical reasons, consult your doctor for further instructions. Your doctor may instruct you on how to lessen acid in your urine. 

The dosage for this medication is based on your medical condition, age, and response to it. Remember to take this drug at the same time and in the same way every day. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse. 

What are the side effects of Allopurinol?

  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle pain
  • Changes in your sense of taste

Inform your doctor if you experience:

  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Numbness or tingling of legs or arms
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Signs of infection
  • Change in the amount of urine
  • Painful or bloody urination
  • Severe stomach or abdominal pain
  • Yellowing eyes or skin
  • Vision changes
  • Eye pain 

What are the precautions in taking Allopurinol?

  • Let your doctor know if you are allergic to this drug or if you have any allergies. 
  • Tell your doctor as well if you have any other medications including vitamins, herbal products, or food supplements. 
  • You should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not operate machinery or drive until you know how this drug affects you. 
  • Do not receive any vaccinations or immunizations without the consent of your doctor while having this medication.
  • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or get pregnant while taking this medication. 
  • As your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while having this treatment. Alcohol may decrease the effectiveness of Allopurinol. 
  • Consult your doctor first before taking a dose of Allopurinol if you are breastfeeding women.
  • This prescription and other medicine can interfere with each other and might increase the chances of you having side effects. Some of these medicines are antibiotics, aspirin, or diuretics.
  • Keep this medication in the container it came in and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature far from excess heat and moisture.