What is allopurinol?
The active ingredient allopurinol is considered a xanthine oxidase inhibitor type of medication. The medication works by reducing the production of excess uric acid to prevent tiny grit like crystals from forming in the joints and tendons causing inflammation, swelling and pain. The tablets can be used to treat gout or kidney stones and to decrease uric acid levels in patients who are receiving cancer treatment. It can be used as a long term prevention of gout flare ups but cannot be used to treat gout attacks.
How is it used?
It is usually taken orally 1 to 2 times per day or as directed by a doctor. The medication should ideally be taken after a meal along with a full glass of water. It is important to drink plenty of water while using the drug. Contact a doctor for the correct dosage as it will depend on the patients condition and their response to the therapy. Do not discontinue the medication thinking the treatment is not working as you may have more gout attacks for the first several months while the body removes extra uric acid.
Patients using it may encounter unwanted side effects such as: