Frequently asked questions for Allopurinol
Q. What is the best time of the day to take Allopurinol?Allopurinol can be taken at anytime of the day but preferably should be taken at the same time each day so that you remember to take it. It is usually prescribed once daily and should be taken after meals. If the dose exceeds 300 mg or if your stomach is upset, you can take it in divided doses as advised by your doctor.
Q. Why do I still get gout while taking Allopurinol?If you have started taking Allopurinol, you may experience an increase in attacks of gout (severe pain, swelling, and redness). However, these attacks usually become shorter and less severe after several months of therapy. The possible reason for increased attacks could be gradual breakdown of uric acid crystals, causing fluctuations in uric acid levels in the blood. To prevent such painful events, your doctor may advise to take colchicine with Allopurinol, as it can suppress the gouty attacks.
Q. Is Allopurinol an anti-inflammatory?No, Allopurinol is not an anti-inflammatory medicine. It belongs to enzyme inhibitors class of medicines. It inhibits uric acid-forming key enzyme known as xanthine oxidase. This results in decreased production of uric acid which reduces the attacks of gout. Additionally, it may help in prevention of uric acid kidney stones.
Q. Is Allopurinol bad for the liver?Yes, Allopurinol use may cause liver problems. The doctor may advise to get your blood tests done to check how well your liver is working before and during treatment with Allopurinol. Inform your doctor if you experience symptoms like fatigue, loss of appetite for several days or longer, pain, aching, or tenderness on the right side of the abdomen. Other symptoms which require doctor’s attention includes dark or “tea-colored” urine, jaundice (yellowing of skin or the white part of your eyes).
Q. How long does it take for Allopurinol to lower uric acid levels?It may take several months before you start feeling better or notice any significant reduction in attacks of gout (severe pain, swelling, and redness). Initially after starting Allopurinol you may experience gouty attacks. Continue taking Allopurinol even if you do not experience any considerable relief from the attacks. Do not stop taking Allopurinol without consulting your doctor. Your doctor will prescribe you another medicine along with Allopurinol to prevent the initial attacks. It may take up to years for the body to completely get rid of all uric acid crystals.
Q. What if I take alcohol while taking Allopurinol?You should refrain yourself from consuming alcohol while taking Allopurinol as this could make your condition worse. Also, you should avoid all foods that are rich source of proteins as it will help to prevent attacks of gout. Consult your doctor for a detailed list of food items which need to be avoided. It is also recommended that you drink at least 8 glasses of water or other fluids while taking Allopurinol, unless your doctor has advised otherwise.
Q. Does Allopurinol cause drowsiness?Yes, Allopurinol may cause drowsiness in some people. It can even make you feel giddy (dizzy) or you may have problems with coordination. It would be best to avoid driving or operating machinery if you experience these side effects. However, if it is unavoidable then extreme caution should be exercised while performing such tasks.