A common drug prescribed for the treatment of gout is Zyloprim, commonly known as Allopurinol. Allopurinol is a drug used to block large amounts of uric acid levels in the body in which causes gout inflammation. Healthcare professionals prescribe the oral tablet in low dosages, with a gradual dosage increase, to maintain proper amounts of uric acids levels.
Allopurinol cannot be started at the same time an outgoing gout attack is occurring, but can properly balance out the amount of xanthine oxidase that is release in the body, which causes the formation of uric acid. The medication typically takes 2- 4 weeks to work properly in controlling uric acid levels, a doctor will monitor and change dosages accordingly within the first month of starting allopurinol. Once the proper dosage has been reached, gout attacks should subside.
Allopurinol is also used to control uric acid build up cause within other medical conditions. Some include uric acid kidney stones, poor kidney function, and for people with allergies to other uricosuric medications like Benemid and Anturane.
Allopurinol is not prescribed to people with hemochromatosis, a medical condition in which too much iron is produced in the body, or to people with kidney and or liver problems.
The most common side effect to Allopurinol is a skin rash. If a rash occurs, the prescribing doctor will monitor and or adjust the dosage of the medication. A skin rash may also indicate an allergy to Allopurinol. Some rare but serious side effects may occur including, hepatitis, aplastic anemia, vasculitis, and a hypersensitive allergenic reaction. Any signs of these symptoms should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible. An allergenic reaction would show as a widespread rash, fever, mouth sores, liver and kidney problems. Seek emergency care if any of the side effects are noticed.
Be sure to speak to a doctor about other prescription drugs one may be taking, as Allopurinol may interfere with the toxicity of other drugs by increasing or decreasing the effectives of them. It is possible to have an increase in gout attacks when first starting on Allopurinol, a doctor may prescribe a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to take in the beginning once the proper dosage of Allopurinol is reached, the NSAID will not be needed.
Proper monitoring by a doctor is needed while taking Allopurinol to monitor liver and kidney functions and complete blood count work ups are needed within the first 6 months and yearly after that.