Hyperuricemia is a clinical condition characterized by excessive concentration of uric acid in plasma. High concentrations may lead to the development of more serious diseases such as gout and renal calculi in the long run. The increased production of uric acid depends on the increase in the activity of the enzyme xanthine oxidase. This enzyme is capable of mediating the transformation of two substances, xanthine and hypoxanthine, thus increasing uric acid in the organism. Allopurinol is able to bind the action of xanthine oxidase and significantly reduce blood concentrations of uric acid. Therefore, it works as an inhibitor of the xanthine oxidase enzyme.
What is Allopurinol?
Allopurinol is used to treat Hyperuricemia, gout and uric acid lithiasis.
How should Allopurinol be taken?
Allopurinol is administered orally, in the form of tablets or granules for oral suspension.
Side effects associated with Allopurinol
Treatment with allopurinol can create different side effects, all of which vary depending on an individual’s sensitivity, their health condition, the dosage they are taking and the duration of the treatment.
In general, the most common side effects of Allopurinol include the following:
- Gastrointestinal disorders: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain ;
- Neurological disorders: systemic malaise, drowsiness, visual changes and taste;
- Liver disorders: hepatotoxicity;
- Cardiovascular diseases: hypertension;
- Nervous system disorders: fatigue, paresthesia, neuropathy;
- Hematological disorders: hypersensitivity reactions with rash, fever, and vasculitis
Contraindications and warnings associated with the use of Allopurinol
Particular attention should be paid when administering the drug in patients with kidney disease and liver disease. Given the lack of studies able to test the safety of this drug on fetal health, taking Allopurinol is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. The intake of allopurinol may also reduce the patient’s ability to drive and operate machinery.