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All about: Allopurinol

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Generic Name: Allopurinol Tablets (al-oh-PURE-i-nole)
Brand Name: Zyloprim

Allopurinol is used for:

Treating gout. It is used to treat high uric acid levels in the blood or urine caused by certain types of cancer chemotherapy. It is also used to treat certain patients with calcium oxalate kidney stones and high amounts of uric acid in the urine. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Allopurinol is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor. It works by lowering the body's production of uric acid.

Do NOT use Allopurinol if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Allopurinol

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Allopurinol :

Some medical conditions may interact with Allopurinol . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney or liver disease, heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure), bone marrow problems, high blood pressure, or diabetes

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Allopurinol . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Amoxicillin or ampicillin because the risk of developing a skin rash may be increased
  • Chlorpropamide because the risk of low blood sugar may be increased
  • Dicumarol or oral anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because the risk of bleeding may be increased by Allopurinol
  • Thiazide diuretics (eg, hydrochlorothiazide) or uricosurics (eg, probenecid) because they may increase the risk of Allopurinol 's side effects
  • Cyclosporine or thiopurines (eg, azathioprine, mercaptopurine) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Allopurinol

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Allopurinol may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Allopurinol :

Use Allopurinol as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Allopurinol by mouth after meals to decrease stomach upset.
  • Drinking extra fluids while you are taking Allopurinol is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
  • Continue to take Allopurinol even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of Allopurinol , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Allopurinol .

Important safety information:

  • Allopurinol may cause drowsiness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Allopurinol with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • You may experience an increase in gout attacks for several months after you begin taking Allopurinol . Your doctor may give you another medicine (colchicine) to help decrease these gout attacks. Contact your doctor if you experience frequent or severe gout attacks.
  • It may take 2 to 6 weeks to receive the full benefit of Allopurinol .
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Allopurinol is not useful for relieving an acute gout attack.
  • Follow the diet and exercise program given to you by your health care provider.
  • Lab tests, including uric acid levels and kidney and liver function, may be performed while you use Allopurinol . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Allopurinol while you are pregnant. Allopurinol is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Allopurinol , check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Allopurinol :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; nausea.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blood in urine or painful urination; dark urine; fever, chills, or sore throat; irritation of the eyes; joint pain; loss of appetite; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; stomach pain; unexplained weight loss; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual muscle pain or weakness; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Allopurinol :

Store Allopurinol at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Allopurinol out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Allopurinol , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Allopurinol is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Allopurinol . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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