Allopurinol Tablets & Kidney Disease explains how taking allopurinol tablets might affect kidney disease. Specifically, I explain how this is an area of ongoing gout research. Because scientists do not yet fully understand how allopurinol affects kidney function. However, the results so far seem encouraging. Because some kidney patients benefit from allopurinol. But for others, there is no effect on kidneys.
Allopurinol Tablets & Kidney Disease Audience
I wrote Allopurinol Tablets & Kidney Disease for GoutPal Seekers who are concerned about the effects of allopurinol on kidney function. GoutPal Seekers are gout sufferers who are trying to control uric acid. But, they don’t know which type of uric acid therapy they should choose. If you are not sure which type of gout sufferer you are, please read Questions for Gout Sufferers before you continue to read this article.
Allopurinol Tablets & Kidney Disease
Allopurinol tablets are the most important weapon in any gout patient’s arsenal.
Also, they could be more important, if you also suffer from kidney disease.
Because, gout related research from Y P Siu and colleagues investigates allopurinol tablets and kidney disease. Specifically, it looks at allopurinol in patients with high uric acid levels and impaired kidney function.
They recognized that high uric acid (hyperuricemia) is associated strongly with the development of high blood pressure and kidney disease. So, they thought allopurinol might benefit gout patients with chronic kidney disease.
First, they conducted a randomized controlled trial with 54 patients. All had high uric acid levels and chronic kidney disease. Half were treated with allopurinol tablets (100mg to 300mg per day). While the other half continued with normal treatment.
Next, patients were assessed after 12 months. Then, 46% of normal patients had significant kidney deterioration or started dialysis. But, only 16% of those treated with allopurinol got worse.
Finally, the authors conclude:
Allopurinol therapy significantly decreases serum uric acid levels in hyperuricemic patients with mild to moderate chronic kidney disease. Its use is safe and helps preserve kidney function during 12 months of therapy compared with controls. Results of this study need to be confirmed with an additional prospective trial involving a larger cohort of patients to determine the long-term efficacy of allopurinol therapy and in specific chronic kidney disease subpopulations.
Does allopurinol cause kidney damage?
That report was published over 10 years ago. Yet, gout sufferers are still asking: “Does allopurinol cause kidney damage?” Now, the answer is “almost certainly not”. But, we don’t know why. Because the latest research still claims “Recent meta-analyses [of allopurinol effects on kidneys], however, have produced inconsistent results”. Despite this limitation, results are encouraging on two counts:
Firstly, there is a link between lower uric acid from allopurinol, and reduced renal failure, in most studies. Secondly, there is a strong suggestion that additional kidney protection comes from inhibiting xanthine oxidase. Furthermore, this has led to more studies to investigate how allopurinol can benefit diabetes sufferers.
Allopurinol and Your Kidneys
Now, you know that allopurinol tablets are often good for your kidneys. But, that might not be true for you. So, if you have concerns about the effects of allopurinol on your kidneys, you must consult your doctor. Because, this is a complex aspect of gout management, requiring expert examination and advice.
Allopurinol Tablets & Kidney Disease Feedback
08 Nov 2019: Allopurinol and Kidney Function Response
Please don’t worry about how to leave feedback. Whether by Helpdesk messages or forums. Because I have some news about that which I will publish when I next update my Learners program.
You say that “I see that allopurinol can cause impaired kidney function”. But you don’t tell me where you have seen that. Certainly, it isn’t on this page and I hope you haven’t seen it anywhere else on GoutPal. Because it is the opposite of what I believe.
Anyway, I have flagged this for more research to give a definitive update on the topic of Allopurinol and Kidney Function. Then I will look to see if there is more relevant research since that which I’ve described here. In the meantime, if you have any more information on why you believe allopurinol impairs kidney function, I’d love to see it. Because that will allow me to update this page with a more complete understanding. You can add information to your original response, or create a new message at the Feedback link below.
Leave Allopurinol Tablets & Kidney Disease to browse the Gout Disease pages
Allopurinol Tablets & Kidney Disease References
- Use of allopurinol in slowing the progression of renal disease through its ability to lower serum uric acid level. Siu YP, Leung KT, Tong MK, Kwan TH. Am J Kidney Dis. 2006 Jan;47(1):51-9.
- Time to target uric acid to retard CKD progression. Kumagai T, Ota T, Tamura Y, Chang WX, Shibata S, Uchida S. Clin Exp Nephrol (2017) 21:182–192.
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