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Allopurinol

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Treatment Information

Table of contents

What Is Allopurinol?

Allopurinol was discovered in the early 1950s by Dr Gertrude Elion and Dr George Hitchings, and their pioneering work on this and other medications that work on improving the metabolism eventually earned them a Nobel Prize.

Fast forward to today, and Allopurinol is an invaluable treatment for gout that many thousands of people use to great effect every day.


What Is Allopurinol Used For?

Allopurinol, known under the brand name of Allopurinol BP 100mg, is usually used to relieve the symptoms of gout, which is a form of arthritis that’s caused by the crystallisation of uric acid in the joints.


How Does Allopurinol Work?

Allopurinol works so well against gout because it prevents the formation of uric acid, which is the compound responsible for the painful gout attacks. Allopurinol blocks the enzyme xanthine oxidase, which plays an important role in uric acid production, and this means that uric acid crystals can’t accumulate in the joints.


How Does Allopurinol Treat Gout?

Allopurinol doesn’t just stop the symptoms of gout, but it also reduces the likelihood of recurring attacks. By reducing the uric acid levels in the body, inflammation in the joints subsides, which leads to reduced pain and swelling.

Plus, allopurinol works as a prophylactic, preventing the formation of new uric acid crystals and minimising the risk of future gout flare-ups.


How Long Does Allopurinol Take To Work?

When taking Allopurinol, patience is important as it can take a number of weeks or even months to fully work.

The timeframe will vary from person to person because of a range of different factors including how severe the gout is, the patient’s overall health, and how they adhere to their prescriptions. Although improvement might be gradual, for those suffering from the pain of gout, the wait is certainly worth it when relief comes.


Allopurinol Dosage Directions?

When it comes to Allopurinol, it’s crucial to remember that one sizes (of dosage) doesn’t fit all, and the recommended dosage will depend on the severity of the condition, with Allopurinol 100mg being a good starting point.

Regular monitoring by healthcare professionals is crucial, as dosages might need to be adjusted over time – it will often depend on individual responses and any potential side effects.

Overdosing can have serious consequences, so making sure you stick to the doctor’s recommended dosage is vital.


How To Take Allopurinol

The way to take Allopurinol for adults in tablet form are the most common, and these pills should ideally be taken with food. Timing isn’t strict, but consistency is absolutely vital.

It’s also crucial to avoid alcohol – which can actually make gout worse – and certain medications can interact negatively with Allopurinol, so speaking to your doctor first is necessary.

Who Should Not Take Allopurinol?

If you are of Han Chinese, African or Indian origin, it’s vital to get further advice about taking Allopurinol, as it might not be effective for you.

Plus, people with specific medical conditions, like severe liver disease, may need to avoid Allopurinol and, again, speaking to your doctor to find out is important.

It's vital not to self-medicate even if you’re sure that Allopurinol would help you. There are important factors to take into account, meaning that a doctor’s care is necessary.

If you feel that Allopurinol might be a useful medication to help you deal with the symptoms of gout, it’s important to make an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss your options. They will be able to tailor a treatment plan that works for you, depending on your specific needs.

At PrescriptionDoctor, we can be your help against gout. Our expert consultation services, support, and convenient delivery services guarantee you’ll always have precisely what you need when it comes to medication.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Allopurinol

What Should I Know Before Taking Allopurinol?

Do not take Allopurinol if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients. Caution is needed if you have liver or kidney problems, heart problems, high blood pressure, or are currently having a gout attack. It's also important to discuss with your healthcare provider if you are of Han Chinese, African, or Indian origin or if you have thyroid problems.

How Should I Take Allopurinol?

Take Allopurinol tablets exactly as prescribed by your doctor. They should be taken orally after food with a glass of water. Dosage adjustments may be necessary based on individual factors like age and kidney function. The usual adult dose ranges from 100 to 900 mg per day.

What Are the Possible Side Effects of Allopurinol?

Possible side effects include blood disorders, symptoms of diabetes, hyperlipidemia, depression, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, vision disturbances, muscular weakness, cataracts, chest pain, high blood pressure, skin reactions, nausea, vomiting, liver function changes, and serious allergic reactions. Not everyone experiences these side effects.

Can I Take Allopurinol During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding?

Consult your doctor for advice before taking Allopurinol if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to have a baby. Allopurinol is excreted in human breast milk and is not recommended during breastfeeding.

Can Allopurinol Affect My Ability to Drive or Use Machines?

Allopurinol may cause drowsiness, affect coordination, vision, or cause dizziness. If you experience these symptoms, avoid driving or operating machinery.

What Should I Do If I Take More Allopurinol Than I Should?

If you take more Allopurinol than prescribed, contact your doctor or nearest hospital emergency department immediately. Signs of an overdose may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and dizziness.


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Click here to view the Allopurinol - Patient Information Leaflet

Authored By

Lisamarie

Lisamarie Lamb

Medical Content Writer
Lisamarie is a medical content writer, skilled in crafting clear and precise content with her expertise in literary theory.

Published on: 07/11/2023

Reviewed By

Dr Giuseppe Aragona
Dr. Giuseppe utilises his extensive experience in general practice to ensure the accuracy and safety of the website's content.

Reviewed on: 13/03/2024
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