Allopurinol (Zyloprim, Lopurin, Purinol) is the most commonmedication recommended for people experiencing gout problems. It is foundespecially useful for the long term treatment of this medical condition.
How the Drug Works
This medication works by blocking the enzyme responsible forthe production of uric acid, known as xanthine oxidase. The enzyme causesoxidation of substances (such as xanthine and hypoxanthine) to uric acid, andsince gout is caused by extreme level of uric acid, drugs that block the enzymework as the gout treatment. Additionally, there is a buildup of crystallized uricacid in the joints in the form of monosodium urate, which is actually the causeof the disease. Medications like allopurinol are able to prevent the gout butcan’t affect the acute gout attacks.
The drug is available as the tablet and usually contains100mg of allopurinol. Usual starting dose is about 50 to 100mg, but the dosagecan be increased to 300mg or even 600mg per day, if your doctor recommends so,according to the result of blood tests. Patients experiencing kidney problemsusually get very low doses of allopurinol, in order to prevent any furtherdamage to the kidneys.
Patients using allopurinol should be warned about thepotential flare-up reaction, which can be very painful. Perhaps that’s thereason why so many people don’t continue with this gout treatment. The reactionis actually normal body reaction to the dissolution of accumulated monosodiumurates and it will disappear with the continuous use. Most doctors advise theirpatients to use pain killers if they need to and to drink plenty of water toclear away the uric acid crystals from their bodies.
Never use this drug unless it is prescribed to you, andnever correct the dosage yourself, without the consultation with your doctor. Allopurinolshould be used every day and it shouldn’t be stopped until your doctorrecommends so.
The recommended level of uric acid in the blood is less than6mg/l (milligram per liter).
Allopurinol Adverse Effects
Allopurinol is not known to cause many side effects. Somepatients might be allergic to the drug and they may experience some skin rash, sorethroat, fever, dizziness, weakness, diarrhea or even seizures or blood in theurine.
Extremely rare, allopurinol might damage the nerves and bonemarrow.
Pregnant women or breastfeeding moms should not take thismedication. Allopurinol gets transferred to the breast milk and can harm thenewborn. If there are no other gout treatment options, mom should not nurse thebaby after the birth.