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What is Allopurinol?

Allopurinol is in a class of medications called xanthine oxidase inhibitors. It works by reducing the production of uric acid in the body. High levels of uric acid may cause gout attacks or kidney stones.

When Was Allopurinol Made?

It was initially approved by the FDA in 1966 and is now formulated by several manufacturers.

Uses of Allopurinol

Allopurinol is used to decrease uric acid levels in the blood and urine of people with high uric acid levels. High uric acid levels may be caused by the following:

  • gout
  • kidney stones, kidney damage, or treatment with dialysis
  • cancer chemotherapy
  • psoriasis
  • use of diuretics (water pills)
  • a diet high in soft drinks, beef, steak, salami, or beer

Allopurinol is used to prevent gout attacks, not to treat them once they occur.

How to Take Allopurinol?

Allopurinol comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once or twice a day, preferably after a meal.Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of allopurinol and gradually increase your dose, not more than once a week.

It may take several months or longer before you feel the full benefit of allopurinol. Allopurinol may increase the number of gout attacks during the first few months that you take it, although it will eventually prevent attacks

Side-effects of Allopurinol?

Commonly observed side effects include:

  • upset stomach
  • diarrhea
  • drowsiness