Allopurinol (or allopurinal)
Allopurinol (often called allopurinal) is hailed by many people as a wonder drug for preventing gout attacks.
It reduces uric acid levels, thus lowering the risk of future gout attacks.
There is no permanent effect, so as soon as you stop taking it the benefits are lost.
Forgetting the odd day might not matter too much, but it is important to continue taking it for the rest of your life once started.
There are no immediate benefits from taking allopurinol – it can take 6 weeks or longer before gout attacks are significantly reduced.
Importantly, during this period, which could take up to a year, the risk of gout attacks increases.
Doctors will usually prescribe a pain relief drug to be taken alongside allopurinol for six months or more.
What actually happens is that allopurinol reduces the uric acid levels in the blood and so the uric acid crystals in or around the joints start to redissolve causing a gout attack.
Therefore, the longer you have had gout, the longer it will take for allopurinol to prevent attacks.
This is also the reason why you should not start taking allopurinol during a gout attack, but if you were already taking it, then you must continue. [2012 Update: please note that latest advice is to start allopurinol dosing as soon as possible, even during a gout attack]
Don’t keep stopping and starting with this drug – you need to take it as prescribed, otherwise you lose the benefits.
There should be no diet restrictions, though you must be careful with alcohol. It causes allopurinol to be excreted from the body quickly, which might stop your uric acid levels being lowered enough. Frequent blood tests are important if you are taking allopurinol, and these will tell you if your allopurinol dose is enough to lower uric acid properly.
If your uric acid level is not maintained below 6mg/dL, then discuss with your doctor whether you need to reduce alcohol or increase your allopurinol dose.
More Allopurinol Information
Read more vital allopurinol information:
- Are Allopurinol Side Effects Serious?
- Allopurinol side effects worry many people, so just how serious are they?
- 3 Vital Allopurinol Dosage Rules
- Allopurinol dosage needs to be planned, measured and adjusted for different treatment phases. A standard 300mg dose might be just what you need – but make sure that it is set by diagnosis and judgment, not by dangerous guesswork.
- Allopurinol For Gout Control
- In-depth look at the management of gout using allopurinol.
- Allopurinol Drug Not Just For Gout
- Though mostly used in gouty arthritis, the allopurinol drug has found to be useful for other conditions.
Like many medicines, allopurinol is often misspelled. Though spelling is often overrated, it pays to take extra care with medicines, as a misunderstanding might cause treatment problems in the unlikely event of a similar sounding drug being taken mistakenly.
allo changed to ali, and nol changed to nal.
allo changed to ali.
allo changed to alli, and nol changed to nal.
nal ending changed to nol. This is the most frequent mis-spelling of allopurinol
Missing final l.
purinol changed to purionol [extra o added before nol].
lupo changed to lopu.
lop changed to lup.
allo changed to alo, and purin changed to puren.
allo changed to alo, and nol changed to nal.
allo changed to alo.
allo changed to alu, and puri changed to pro.
Allo changed to Alu, and extra o added before nol.
allo changed to ap.
Purinol is a brand of allopurinol manufactured by Europharm
If you are aware of other alternative spellings, or to discuss any aspect of gout treatment, please join the gout resources forum.
Leave Is Allopurinol the Best Gout Treatment? to browse the allopurinol guidelines.