Aloprim : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Aloprim (Allopurinol) is used to treat gout, high uric acid levels in the body caused by certain anticancer drugs, and kidney stones. Aloprim is in a class of medications called xanthine oxidase inhibitors. It works by reducing uric acid production in the body. High uric acid levels can cause gout attacks or kidney stones. Aloprim is used to prevent gout attacks, not to treat them once they occur.
How should this medicine be used?
Aloprim (Allopurinol) comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once or twice a day, preferably after a meal. To remind you to take Aloprim, take it at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Take Aloprim exactly as directed. Do not take more or less, or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will likely prescribe a low dose of Aloprim and increase it gradually, no more than once a week.
It may take several months or more before you feel the full benefit of Aloprim. Aloprim can increase the number of gout attacks during the first few months you take it, although it will eventually prevent attacks. Your doctor may prescribe another medicine such as colchicine to prevent gout attacks during the first few months that you take Aloprim. Keep taking Aloprim even if you feel fine. Do not stop taking Aloprim without consulting your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
Aloprim is also sometimes used to treat seizures, pain caused by pancreatic disease, and certain infections. It is also sometimes used to improve survival after bypass surgery, to reduce ulcer relapse, and to prevent rejection of kidney transplants. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
This medicine may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking Aloprim,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Aloprim or any other medications.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox); Ampicillin (Polycillin, Principen); anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin); cancer chemotherapy drugs such as cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) and mercaptopurine (Purinethol); chlorpropamide (diabine); diuretics (‘water pills’); medications that suppress the immune system such as azathioprine (Imuran) and cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); other gout medications such as probenecid (Benemid) and sulfinpyrazone (Anturane); and tolbutamide (Orinase). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney or liver disease or heart failure.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking Aloprim, call your doctor.
- You should know that Aloprim can make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you.
- Ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking Aloprim. Alcohol can make Aloprim less effective.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Drink at least eight glasses of water or other fluids each day while taking Aloprim unless directed to do otherwise by your doctor.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Aloprim may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:
- skin rash
- painful urination
- blood in the urine
- irritation of the eyes
- swelling of the lips or mouth
- fever, sore throat, chills, and other signs of infection
- loss of appetite
- unexpected weight loss
Aloprim may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medicine.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit a report online to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. Check out the FDA drug safe disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain laboratory tests to check your body’s response to Aloprim.
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important to keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you every time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.