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Probenecid

INFORMATION

Uses

Probenecid is used in the treatment of gout.

How it works

Probenecid belongs to a class of medications called uricosuric agents. It works by blocking the reabsorption (entry from urine back into the blood) of urates by the kidneys thereby increasing the excretion of uric acid and preventing deposition of urate crystals in the joints. It inhibits the elimination (excretion from blood into the urine) of certain antibiotics like penicillin by the kidneys thereby delaying its excretion and increasing concentration in the blood.

Common side effects

Nausea, Joint pain, Dizziness, Headache, Loss of appetite, Skin redness, Swelling, Vomiting

AVAILABLE MEDICINE

Expert advice

  • Do not use probenecid along with salicylates like aspirin.
  • You may be prescribed colchicine or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent (NSAID, pain killer) to prevent severe gouty attacks during the first 6 to 12 months of probenecid therapy.
  • Consult your doctor before starting probenecid treatment if you have or ever had kidney stones, any other kidney disorder, ulcers in the stomach and small intestine (peptic ulcers),diabetes, severe liver disorders, blood disorders or glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.
  • Inform your doctor about any scheduled surgery for which you would be receiving anesthetics.
  • You should take adequate water or fluids while taking probenecid to prevent kidney stones.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • Take precautions while driving or operating machinery, as probenecid is known to cause dizziness.

Frequently asked questions

Probenecid

Q.Is probenecid an NSAID/ antibiotic/ sulfa drug/ diuretic?
No. Probenecid belongs to a class of medications called uricosuric agents and is used to reduce high levels of uric acid in the body and to prevent and treat gout and gouty arthritis. It has no anti-inflammatory effect like NSAIDs or activity against infections like antibiotics or sulfa drugs. It is only used in combination with antibiotics (e.g. penicillin, ampicillin, amoxicillin etc.) to prolong their effect during infection. It has no effect on increasing urine output and is not a diuretic

Q.Probenecid is combined with penicillin/ why is probenecid given with penicillin/ how does probenecid work with penicillin/ how does probenecid increase penicillin/ what effect does probenecid have on penicillin?
In certain cases of serious infections (e.g. gonorrhea or neurosyphillis) probenecid may be prescribed along with antibiotics like penicillin to prolong the effect of the antibiotics given by any route. Probenecid inhibits the elimination (excretion from blood into the urine) of certain antibiotics like penicillin by the kidneys thereby delaying its excretion and increasing concentration in the blood

Q.What is probenecid used for?
Probenecid is a uricosuric agent and is used to reduce high levels of uric acid in the body and to prevent and treat gout and gouty arthritis (pain and inflammation of small joints due to deposition of uric acid in the joint). It is also used to prolong the effect of antibiotics (e.g. penicillin)

Q.Does probenecid cause kidney stones?
Yes. Kidney stones are among the known side effects of probenecid treatment.


Content on this page was last updated on 15 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)