Allopurinol is a medication used to treat and prevent gout, a type of arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints. It is also used to prevent kidney stones and to treat high levels of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia) caused by certain types of cancer chemotherapy.
Allopurinol works by reducing the production of uric acid in the body, which can help prevent the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints and kidneys. It does this by inhibiting the enzyme xanthine oxidase, which is involved in the production of uric acid.
Allopurinol is available in tablet form and is usually taken once or twice a day, depending on the condition being treated and the individual’s response to the medication. The dosage of allopurinol may need to be adjusted based on kidney function and other factors.
While allopurinol is generally considered safe and effective, it can have side effects such as rash, nausea, vomiting, and liver or kidney problems. Rarely, allopurinol can cause a severe allergic reaction or a condition called Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which is a serious skin reaction that requires immediate medical attention. Patients taking allopurinol should be closely monitored by their healthcare provider and report any unusual symptoms or side effects.