Allopurinol is hailed by many people as a wonder drug for preventing gout attacks. But gout sufferers don’t know when they should start and stop it. See these hints and tips to help you understand how to use allopurinol for effective uric acid control.
Taking Allopurinol Purpose
I wrote this taking allopurinol article to help gout sufferers discuss their uric acid treatment with their doctor. So this supports the Purpose of GoutPal.com by helping patients work with professional advisors for better uric acid control.
This is aimed at sufferers following a Gout Treatment Plan for Patients. But it should help all sufferers who want to control uric acid. Because the principles apply to almost all uric acid treatments. So it helps GoutPal Dieters and GoutPal Herbalists. Where you can discuss with your dietitian or other health professional how to replace allopurinol with diet changes or herbal remedies.
If you are not sure which type of plan suits you, start at Questions for Gout Sufferers.
Allopurinol 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 6 mg/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 300 mg 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.
Taking Allopurinol Related Topics
Please remember: to find more related pages that are relevant to you, use the search box near the top of every page.
Other posts that include these terms:
- Starting Allopurinol – Dosing Guidelines
- What Is Allopurinol?
- Allopurinol And Alcohol: Can You Spirit Away Gout?
- Gout Pain Relief in 2 Hours
- Gout Medications To Avoid Gout By Lower Uric Acid
- Allopurinol Rash: Are You At Risk?
- Allopurinol Medication: Why It Hurts To Get Rid Of Gout
Taking Allopurinol Spelling
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.
Additionally, bad spelling or using brand names can make searching for information difficult.
I have now moved spelling tips to the allopurinol facts page. So see Allopurinol facts for alipurinal, allopurinal, alupronol, alupropinol, alupurionol, and appurinol.