One of the most common drugs for arthritis is Allopurinol. In technical terms this is known as a xanthine oxidase inhibitor. The body will produce uric acid which is carried through the blood system as urate. The kidneys are responsible for getting rid of this salt through the passage of urine. Too much urate can build up on the joints and cause gout. The intake of Allopurinol will help to reduce the rate at which uric acid is formed in the body. That way that arthritis patient will be given some relief from their symptoms. This medication can be prescribed on a long term basis to prevent the development of gout or to even reduce the symptoms of gout if the patient has already jumped that particular ship.
The prescription of Allopurinol to manage arthritis
Where there is an acute attack of gout then the limitations of Allopurinol are self evident. The primary purpose of the medication is to prevent the accumulation of excess crystals within the body system. Normally the doctor will require blood tests in order to ascertain the development of the condition within the blood stream. Therefore the prescription will be based on facts rather than speculation. It is possible to remove the symptoms of gout or to prevent its progression if you use this medication correctly. The medication is taken in the form of a tablet. Patients are advised to take the Allopurinol tablet once a day and it is preferred that the patient first consumes food before taking the medication. You should swallow the tablet with water.
It is advisable not to take Allopurinol unless any acute attacks have completely settled. The manufactured tablets come in batches with 100 mg and 300 mg strength tablets. A maximum limit of 300 mg is recommended on average although there are cases where the doctor will recommend a higher dosage depending on the reactions of the patient. If the patient is suffering from liver disease or kidney disease then the lower dosage will be recommended for their safety. Surprisingly taking Allopurinol can trigger gout in the first few months before settling down. Therefore doctors might prescribe another form of medication in order to combat these symptoms. In this case NSAIDs are the preferred. One of the branded medications for this purpose is colchicine.
The specific requirements when using allopurinol
If you develop a case of severe gout when using Allopurinol then it is not advisable to stop the medication. You should continue as normal but then treat the symptoms so that the quality of life for the patient is improved in the long run. There will be a significant reduction in the urate levels within the blood after a few weeks of taking the medication. When the crystals are completely dissolved then it is possible to have relief from gout. In some instances it will take a year for the full impact of the treatment to take place. The vast majority of patients do not experience negative side effects when they take Allopurinol. On certain occasions the patient may develop a minor rash. If this becomes serious then medical attention should be sought.