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Allopurinol is used in medicine as it works as a xanthine oxidase inhibitor. Xanthine oxidase is an enzyme used by the body to produce uric acid and, by blocking this enzyme, uric acid levels will fall. As a result, allopurinol is used in the treatment of hyperuricemia and gout. However, allopurinol is also used medicinally in a variety of other settings. It is, for example, used in chemotherapy as a response to tumor lysis syndrome. Allopurinol is also used in the treatment of Leishmaniasis, a condition caused by protozoal infection.
- Chemotherapy-induced Hyperuricemia
- Congestive Heart Failure
The following doses with respect to allopurinol are not fixed. Each dose is dependent upon a number of factors, not least whether the patient has any additional complicating factors such as age, co-administration of interacting drugs, or the presence of additional disease. With this in mind, the following doses should be considered typical all else being equal. Gout
- Adult Dose: Initial 100 mg to be given once daily, followed by a maintenance dose of 200-300 mg per day.
- Adult Dose: 600-800mg to be taken orally for 1-3 days. Patients are also advised to consume copious amounts of water during this period.
Congestive Heart Failure
- Adult Dose: 300 mg to be taken orally for one month.
- Adult Dose: 20mg/kg/day to be taken for three weeks.
Allopurinol Side Effects
Some patients are hypersensitive to the effects of allopurinol, which may precipitate potentially fatal dermatological conditions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Other common, though more minor, side-effects are listed below, though this is not an exhaustive list of potential side-effects with allopurinol. If you experience any severe symptoms, discontinue the medicine and contact your local healthcare provider. Common side-effects include:
- Joint Stiffness
- Knee/Ankle Pain
- Stomach Pain
Consult your healthcare provider should you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Skin Rash
- Changes in Skin Color
- Chest Pain
There are many clinically significant drug interactions with allopurinol, some of which are listed below, though this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Caution should be taken in patients who are dehydrated, or are at the risk of dehydration, as this may complicate matters further. Patients are advised to inform their prescriber of medications they are currently taking, as one or many of these may interact with allopurinol. Drugs that interact with allopurinol include: