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 lowering 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 really 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.
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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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