Allopurinol is a medication that treats flare-ups of gout. Allopurinol belongs to a group of medications known as enzyme inhibitors that work to reduce uric acid production to lower your gout symptoms.
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What is Allopurinol?

Allopurinol is one of the xanthine oxidase inhibitors. Xanthine oxidase has a vital role in the formation of uric acid in the body. This drug is therefore used to treat diseases caused by excessive uric acid in the body.

How does Allopurinol work?

Uric acid is usually produced inside your body due to protein metabolism. An essential step in the biosynthesis of uric acid is the conversion of oxypurines into uric acid. This step requires an enzyme, the xanthine oxidase. By blocking this enzyme, allopurinol ensures that you have lower uric acid levels in the body. 

Is Allopurinol suitable for me?

Allopurinol may be suitable for you if you have;

  • Gout, a condition in which excess uric acid accumulates in the joints, making them painful.
  • Arthritis
  • Some kidney stones (nephrolithiasis)
  • You have or are at risk of cancer, leading to acute urate nephropathy.
  • You have higher uric acid in your urine (more than 800mg/day for men and 750mg/day for women).
  • You have skin tophi in which swollen growths are formed on the joints under the skin.

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Side Effects

All medications can cause potential side effects, below we have listed some potential side effects, however, these do not always occur. You may notice diarrhoea, stomach upsets, nausea or drowsiness etc. Report immediately if these side effects are not subsiding and are getting worse.

Some severe side effects are:

  • Tingling/ numbness in the legs and arms 
  • Symptoms of kidney and liver diseases 
  • Changes in urine 
  • Allergic skin reactions
  • Disturbances of vision
  • Weight loss
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Bruising/ bleeding etc. 

You need to stop using it if these side effects outweigh the benefits.

Disclaimer: This website does not constitute as medical advice, you should also consult with a doctor before taking medication. If you experience any major reactions to any medication you are taking, you must seek immediate medical attention.


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Commonly used dosage guidelines for Allopurinol

It is available in injectable forms and as 100mg and 300mg tablets. The minimum daily dose is 100-200mg, while the maximum daily dose allowed is 800mg.The dosing depends upon the purpose of use. 

For gout

For mild gout, start from an essential dose of 100mg/ day and increase weekly, if needed to a maximum of 200-300mg/day. You can increase up to 400-600 mg/day in divided doses for moderate to severe gout.

For cancer-induced hyperuricemia

You need 600-800mg in divided doses at 8-12 hours and 1-2 days before expected chemotherapy. It is, however, a prescription drug and shouldn't be used without consulting the physician.

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. No information listed on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment before undergoing a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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How long do I need to use Allopurinol?

You need to take it regularly for 2-3 days to notice changes. The doctor will also consider your age before prescribing it.

What food do I need to avoid while using Allopurinol?

You can take any food, but it is better to avoid high-protein diets as uric acid is formed during protein metabolism. The use of alcohol should also be guarded because it can trigger a gout attack by raising the level of uric acid. So, you are not expected to exceed the minimum permissible limit of alcohol.

What uric is acid level considered to be high?

The following levels of uric acid are considered to be high;

For men: more than 7mg/ dl

For women: more than 6mg/dl.

At what time of day should I use Allopurinol?

Allopurinol is used once a day for doses equal to or less than 300mg. However, for higher doses, the doctor may ask you to take it twice daily in the evening and the morning after a meal.

Can I stop using it once the uric acid level returns to normal?

No. You should continue the treatment and prevention for life. Excess uric acid is due to problems in protein metabolism. It will not correct your protein metabolism but will lower the uric acid levels to prevent a gout attack.

Can Allopurinol disturb blood pressure?

Yes. Allopurinol, particularly at higher doses, can cause a small but significant reduction in blood pressure. Therefore, it is suitable for patients with hyperuricemia plus hypertension.

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