Q. What is Febuxostat used for?
Febuxostat is used to treat gout in adults. It is mainly used in patients who did not respond to the treatment with allopurinol or who are not able to take allopurinol. Gout is a type of arthritis in which uric acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body, builds up in the joints. It causes sudden attacks of redness, swelling, pain, and heat in one or more joints.
Q. What are the side effects of Febuxostat?
Febuxostat may cause common side effects such as abnormal liver test results, diarrhea, headache, rash, nausea, and even an increase in gout symptoms and localized swelling due to retention of fluids in tissues (edema). Whereas, the serious side effects of Febuxostat include heart problems, gout flares, liver problems, and severe skin and allergic reactions. Immediately inform your doctor if you experience any serious side effects.
Q. How long should I take Febuxostat?
The dose and duration of Febuxostat vary from person to person and are decided by your doctor. It may take several months before Febuxostat begins to prevent gout attacks. Do not stop taking Febuxostat without the advice of your doctor even if you feel better.
Q. Is Febuxostat better than allopurinol?
Studies on humans have shown that Febuxostat is more effective than allopurinol in lowering uric acid levels in gout patients.
Q. What is the best time to take Febuxostat?
Febuxostat is advised to be taken once a day. It can be taken at any time of the day, but preferably at the same time each day so that you remember to take it every day. This will help maintain the levels of Febuxostat in the body. You can take this medicine with or without food.
Q. Can Febuxostat cause kidney damage?
Febuxostat may affect kidneys in different ways, though it is quite uncommon. You may experience blood in the urine, frequent urination, kidney stones, abnormal urine tests (increased level of proteins in the urine), and a reduction in the ability of the kidneys to function properly. Rarely, it may cause changes or decrease in urine amount due to inflammation in the kidneys (tubulointerstitial nephritis). Consult your doctor if your kidney functions get further affected.
Q. Can I stop taking Febuxostat on my own if I am fine and have no pain or swelling in joints?
No, do not stop taking Febuxostat without your doctor's advice even if you feel better. Discontinuation of medicine may increase the levels of uric acid. It may also worsen your symptoms due to the formation of new crystals of urate in and around your joints and kidneys.
Q. What are the things which I need to know while taking Febuxostat?
You should be aware that Febuxostat may cause serious heart problems which can be life-threatening in some cases. The symptoms of heart problems include chest pain, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, dizziness, fainting or feeling light-headed, rapid or irregular heartbeat. It may also cause numbness or weakness in one side of your body, slurring of speech and sudden blurry vision, or sudden severe headache. Immediately inform your doctor and seek medical help if you experience any of these symptoms.
Q. Can Febuxostat cause any liver problems?
Yes, Febuxostat use may cause liver problems. Your doctor may advise you to get regular blood tests done before and during treatment with Febuxostat to check how well your liver was working before and while taking this medicine. Inform your doctor if you notice symptoms such as fatigue, pain, or tenderness on the right side of the abdomen or loss of appetite for several days or longer. It may also cause changes in the color of urine (dark or tea-colored) and may make your skin or the white part of your eyes turn yellow (jaundice).