Allopurinol is used to cure gout, which is a type of arthritis, of the most painful kind. It is also used in the treatment of kidney stone. The commercial name of the drug is Zyloprim. To know more about its dosage, uses, and side effects, read ahead.
Discovered accidentally during the treatment of cancer in 1956, Allopurinol is a medicine, which is mainly used in the treatment of gout. To treat this disease, which is caused by crystallization of excess uric acid in the joints, one must attack the root cause of the problem. Usually, it is a mechanism within the body chemistry, that is malfunctioning or causing an imbalance.
Various processes in the body are enabled by chemicals called enzymes, which act as reactants, as well as catalysts. Xanthine Oxidase is one such enzyme, that causes oxidation of xanthine and hypoxanthine, converting it to uric acid, which is subsequently removed from the body, through urination. Gout is caused by excessive levels of uric acid and consistently high acidic levels in the blood. The excess uric acid crystallizes to form monosodium urate. The accumulation of these crystals in the joints, causes gout.
So, if one wants to treat gout or prevent it from occurring, the mechanism that produces the uric acid must be suppressed. This is exactly what Allopurinol does.
It combines with the enzyme Xanthine Oxidase and takes it out of action, thus curbing the oxidation process of xanthine and hypoxanthine. As a result, uric acid production goes down and gout is prevented. It is effective in preventing gout but cannot treat acute attacks of it.
Allopurinol in drug form is known as Zyloprim in the United States and marketed as Lopurin and Purinol in some countries. Its proper chemical name is 1,5-dihydro-4H-pyrazolo [3,4-d] pyrimidin-4-one. It comes in a white tablet form, each having 100 mg Allopurinol and other ingredients like magnesium stearate, lactose, and potato starch as well, for assimilation purpose. The concentration and total content of the medication may vary, according to the dosage required.
Dosage for Gout
The recommended dosage for gout treatment is usually 200-300 mg a day for adults, who are suffering from gout. If the gout attack is severe, the dosage may be increased to 400-600 mg per day. Do not take this drug on your own, without advice. It is better to regulate your dosage, according to the prescription of a certified medical practitioner. This medicine is usually administered with water but if it causes any abdominal problems, take it with milk.
The dosage is usually spread out over a day. In case you forget to take a dose, do not take a double dose later as it may cause certain extreme reactions. For patients with kidney impairment, the dosage should be very low, as in some cases, it is reported to have caused kidney damage.
This drug usually doesn’t cause substantial side effects. However, if the patient is allergic to it, he may have some problems. In such cases, some reported side effects are signs of rash, bleeding through urination, sore throat, diarrhea, dizziness, weakness, fever, or seizures. The extreme effects are rare but contact your doctor immediately if you notice any of these effects.
Pregnant women are advised not to take this drug as Allopurinol can pass through breast milk. If they absolutely must use it, then they should not breastfeed the baby after birth. In some rare cases, the drug is known to cause severe damage in the nerves and bone marrow.
The body is a very well-planned and managed machine. When medicines are administered to cure an anomaly in functioning, care needs to be taken, as not only does it affect the targeted process, but other processes as well. So, when administering a medicine, there are always risks and doctors, therefore, must choose the one medicine with least risks. The medical history of the patient needs to be taken into consideration.
Get a lot of information about the disease that is affecting you, so that you are well-informed when you consult a doctor. Discuss the pros and cons of a particular treatment with him before you go ahead.
As in case of all diseases, prevention is always better than cure. Drugs like Allopurinol come with risks but they are effective. Go for holistic treatment of gout, whereby you can regulate your diet properly and avoid recurrence.
Disclaimer: This article is for reference purposes only. It is not meant to be a substitute for the advice of a certified medical practitioner.