Allopurinol is a white, powdery drug used to treat gout. Its use in the United States was started in 1964. more...
It is an isomer of hypoxanthine and inhibits the production of uric acid, the metabolite responsible for gout, by inhibiting the enzyme xanthine oxidase.
Allopurinol can also be given with some cancer treatments that increase uric acid (tumor lysis syndrome), as well as for kidney stones. These treatments result in large numbers of cells being disposed of by the body, which releases uric acid as part of the breakdown of DNA.
Allopurinol is an analog of the natural purines in the body, and is quickly metabolised to oxipurinol which is also a xanthine oxidase inhibitor.
The side effects of high levels of precursors are usually minor. A small percentage of people develop a rash and must discontinue this drug. The most serious adverse event is a hypersensitivity syndrome consisting of fever, skin rash, eosinophilia, hepatitis, and worsening renal function. In some cases, allopurinol hypersensitivity syndrome can be fatal.
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