What is allopurinol and when to take allopurinol ?

What is allopurinol?

Allopurinol belongs to a class of medications called xanthine oxidase inhibitors. It works by reducing the production of uric acid in the body. High levels of uric acid may cause gout attacks or kidney stones.

Allopurinol is used to treat gout (a type of arthritis in which uric acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body, builds up in the joints and causes sudden attacks of redness, swelling, pain, and heat in one or more joints). Allopurinol is used to prevent gout attacks, not to treat them once they occur.

Allopurinol is also used to treat high levels of uric acid that builds up in the blood as tumors break down in people with certain types of cancer who are being treated with chemotherapy medications. It is also used to treat kidney stones that have come back in people who have high levels of uric acid in their urine.

Expert Advice for Allopurinol

  • Your doctor has prescribed Allopurinol to reduce episodes of gout attack.
  • Take Allopurinol with food to avoid stomach upset.
  • Take plenty of fluids (2-3 litres) daily while on Allopurinol.
  • Notify your doctor if you develop a rash. This could be a sign of allergy and should go away on discontinuing Allopurinol.
  • When you first start taking this medicine, you might have more gout attacks. Do not stop Allopurinol on having an acute attack of gout as that could make an attack worse.
  • Your doctor may check your liver function before starting treatment and regularly thereafter. Inform your doctor if you notice yellowing of eyes or skin, dark urine, or stomach pain.
  • Do not consume alcohol while taking this medicine as it may cause your gout to flare up.


Allopurinol comes as 100mg to 300mg tablets that you take every day. Follow your doctor’s advice on how many tablets to take, and how many times a day.

You’ll usually start on a low dose of allopurinol, but if your uric acid level does not come down far enough, your doctor may increase your dose (up to 900mg daily in severe cases).

If you have kidney or liver disease, your doctor may prescribe a lower dose and will monitor you more closely.

You’ll have regular blood tests to monitor your uric acid levels.

You may take this medicine after meals to avoid stomach upset. Take this medicine with plenty of liquids to help prevent kidney stones. Check with your doctor about the amount of liquid you should drink each day. You should also increase your fiber intake.

How to take it

Swallow your allopurinol tablet with water, ideally after food.

You’ll usually take it once a day, but if you’re on a high dose, your doctor may advise you to split the dose and take it twice a day.

If your doctor has recommended you take Allopurinol Tablets IP with lots of fluid, try to drink 2 to 3 litres of fluids every day.

You can take allopurinol at any time of the day. However, try to take your doses at the same time of day each day.

How long to take it for

If allopurinol works for you, you may need to take it for the rest of your life to treat gout and kidney stones.

If you stop allopurinol treatment suddenly, there is a high risk that gout may get worse or you’ll get serious side effects.

Only stop taking allopurinol if a doctor tells you to. A doctor will help you to reduce your dose slowly so you do not get serious side effects.

If you forget to take it

If you take allopurinol once a day, take the missed dose as soon as you remember, unless it’s almost time to take the next dose. In this case, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time.

If you take allopurinol twice or more a day and do not remember until your next dose is due, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time.

Never take 2 doses to make up for a missed dose.

If you often forget to take your medicines, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask a pharmacist for advice on ways to help you remember to take your medicines.

If you take too much

You take more than your prescribed dose of allopurinol and you have any of these symptoms:

feeling or being sick (nausea or vomiting)


feeling dizzy or tired


stomach pain

If you need to go , do not drive yourself. Get someone else to drive you or call for an ambulance.

Take the allopurinol packet or leaflet inside it, plus any remaining medicine, with you.

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