What Allopurinol tablets are and what they are used for
Allopurinol tablets are used in:
•The management of gout and other conditions associated with too much uric acid in the body, such as kidney disease, metabolic disorders, certain skin diseases, cancer and treatment with diuretic (“water tablets”).
•Certain types of kidney stones.
Before you take
Do not take Allopurinol tablets and tell your doctor if you:
•Are allergic (hypersensitive) to Allopurinol tablets or any of the other ingredients
•Are currently suffering from an acute attack of gout.
Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking Allopurinol tablets if you:
•Have severe liver or kidney disease or kidney problems, you may be given a lower dose.
•Have a condition which causes increased levels of urate in the body (e.g. Lesch-Nyhan syndrome).
Serious skin rashes (Hypersensitivity syndrome, Stevens Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis) have been reported with the use of allopurinol.
Frequently, the rash can involve ulcers of the mouth, throat, nose, genitals and conjunctivitis (red and swollen eyes).
These serious skin rashes are often preceded by influenza-like symptoms fever, headache, body ache (flu-like symptoms). The rash may progress to widespread blistering and peeling of the skin.
These serious skin reactions can be more common in people of Han Chinese or Thai origin.
If you develop a rash or these skin symptoms, stop taking allopurinol and contact your doctor immediately.
Taking other medicines
Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription. Especially:
•Azathioprine (to treat rheumatoid arthritis and after organ transplants)
•Cyclosporine (to treat psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis or after organ transplants)
•6-mercaptopurine (used to treat some cancers and bowel diseases)
•Cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, bleomycin or procarbazine (drugs used to treat leukaemias and some cancers)
•Adenine arabinoside,Probenecid (used in gout),Phenytoin (used in epilepsy)
•Theophylline (to treat asthma),Ampicillin or amoxicillin (antibiotics)
•Aspirin or related medicines (salicylates)
•Drugs to prevent blood from clotting (such as warfarin)
•Chlorpropamide (used in diabetes),Didanosine (antiviral)
•Diuretics (water tablets) or ACE inhibitors such as caporal (used in high blood pressure)
•Indigestion remedies (should not be taken within 3 hours of taking allopurinol)
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breast-feeding ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine.
Driving and using machines
Allopurinol tablets may make you feel dizzy, affect your coordination or make you sleepy. Make sure you are not affected before you drive or operate machinery.
If you have been told you have intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicine, as it contains lactose
How to take
Always take Allopurinol tablets exactly as your doctor has told you. If you are not sure, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
You should swallow the tablets with a little water after meals, if possible.
Drink plenty of fluids while you are on this medicine. Before starting treatment with allopurinol your doctor may give you an anti-inflammatory drug or colchicine, this helps prevent you getting acute gout attacks.
If you are taking allopurinol for cancer then treatment with allopurinol will begin before treatment with cancer drugs.
Starting dose of 100-300mg once a day, this may be increased to 200-600mg a day in divided doses. A maximum dose of over 900mg a day is rarely needed
Children (usually restricted to metabolic disease or cancer):
10-20mg per kg of body weight a day.
Elderly or patients with kidney disease:
Your doctor may prescribe a smaller dose.
If you take more Allopurinol tablets than you should:
If you (or someone else) swallow a lot of the tablets at the same time, or if you think a child has swallowed any of the tablets, contact your nearest hospital casualty department or tell your doctor immediately.
If you forget to take Allopurinol tablets:
Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose. If you forget to take a dose take it as soon as you remember it and then take the next dose at the right time.
Possible side effects
Like all medicines, Allopurinol tablets can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
If you experience any of the following, stop your tablets and tell your doctor immediately:
o Allergic reactions:
o Itchy or flaky skin rash, blistered, peeling skin or sore lips and mouth.
o swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
o Changes in the amounts of blood cells; causing increased bruising, nosebleeds, sore throats or infections.
o Fever, swollen lymph glands, joint pain, swollen blood vessels, inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes), kidney damage (blood in the urine) or fits.
o Fever, increase in white blood cells (seen in blood tests), enlargement of lymph nodes (Drug Rash with Eosinophilia and Systematic Symptoms (DRESS))
Rare (affects less than 1 in 1000 people)
o Fever and chills, headache, aching muscles (flu-like symptoms) and generally feeling unwell
o Any changes to your skin, for example ulcers of the mouth, throat, nose, genitals and conjunctivitis (red and swollen eyes), widespread blisters or peeling
o Serious hypersensitivity reactions involving fever, skin rash, joint pain, and abnormalities in blood and liver function tests (these may be signs of a multi-organ sensitivity disorder).
Tell your doctor If you notice any of the following side effects or notice any other effects not listed:
Uncommon (occurs in less than 1 in 100 users):
•Feeling or being sick (occasionally with blood)
•Changes in liver function tests.
Very rare (occurs in less than 1 in 10,000 users):
•Weakness, numbness, ‘pins and needles’, ‘spinning’ sensation, unable to move muscles (paralysis), drowsiness, loss of consciousnesses
•Feeling thirsty, tired and losing weight; these may be signs of diabetes, taste changes, build up of fluid leading to swelling (oedema)
•High levels of cholesterol in the blood (hyperlipidaemia)
•Depression,Hair loss,Cataracts, changes in vision,Blood in the urine, a change in bowel habit
•High temperature, a general feeling of being unwell, headache
•High blood pressure
•Enlarged breasts in men and women, difficulty maintaining erection, infertility.
Other (frequency cannot be estimated from the data): worsening of gout, dizziness, diarrhoea, stomach pain, kidney stones, and ‘wet dreams’.
If you notice any side effects, they get worse, or if you notice any not listed, please tell your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store
Keep out of the reach and sight of children. Store below 25°C in a dry place.
Do not use Allopurinol tablets after the expiry date stated on the label/carton/bottle. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer required. These measures will help to protect the environment