All You Need To Know About Allopurinol For Gout

by Sharon Hopkins

Allopurinol (Aloprim, Zyloprim) belongs to a category of drugs known as xanthine oxidase inhibitors. Allopurinol is prescribed for the treatment of gout and can help to prevent attacks of gout.

Allopurinol works by blocking the production of uric acid and is usually prescribed to prevent attacks of gout in chronic sufferers. It is also used to lower elevated uric acid levels that are caused by some cancer medications and to treat kidney stones. It is available as a 100 mg. tablet and is usually prescribed by doctors to be taken once or twice daily after meals.

If you have been prescribed allopurinol by your doctor then you should heed his or her instructions. Doctors often prescribe a low dose of allopurinol and increase it gradually over time. It may be months before you notice any benefit from this drug and in the initial period you may feel that your gout attacks are actually increasing. This causes many patients to discontinue its use. Do not do this unless your doctor advises you to do so. If you continue with the prescribed treatment, you will find that eventually your gout attacks will cease. Doctors sometimes prescribe colchicine as well during this period.

Patients with a known allergy to allopurinol should not take the drug. Patients with kidney disease or those who are taking amoxicillin, ampicillin, Coumadin, Cytoxan, purinethol, diabinese, diuretics, immunosuppresants and other gout medications should inform their doctors as they may need to have their doses adjusted.

Some of the side effects of allopurinol include:

  • Stomach upset and diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Skin rashes
  • Itching
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Pain while urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Swelling around the mouth
  • Irritation in the eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
Inform your doctor immediately should you experience any of these symptoms. Many people seek alternative treatments for gout. Certain foods have may be able to lower uric acid levels. These include:

  • Coffee: Some association exists between the intake of coffee and uric acid levels but more research is needed on this subject
  • Cherries: Cherries and other berries such as blueberries, blackberries and raspberries can help to lower uric acid levels
  • Vitamin C Supplements: These may reduce uric acid levels in smaller doses. In larger doses they may increase uric acid levels
Consult your doctor before trying any of these alternative treatments as they may interfere with your gout medication.

Exercises can also be effective therapy in the treatment of gout and can prevent a further buildup of uric acid. Exercises for gout should be done cautiously so as not to further irritate and inflame the joints. The best exercises are the ones to increase range of motion such as strength training, stretching and endurance building. Yoga too can be of great help too.

Consult your doctor before commencing any type of exercises for gout. Discontinue the exercises, should you experience a gout attack. You can resume once the pain has subsided. 
Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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