Zyloprim (allopurinol) is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor that reduces the production of uric acid in your body. Uric acid buildup can lead to gout or kidney stones. Allopurinol is used to treat gout or kidney stones, and to decrease levels of uric acid in people who are receiving cancer treatment.

Allopurinol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

You should not use allopurinol if you are allergic to it, or if you have liver disease.

To make sure allopurinol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • kidney disease;
  • diabetes;
  • high blood pressure;
  • a blood cell disorder such as anemia (lack of red blood cells);
  • a genetic enzyme deficiency such as Lesch-Nyhan syndrome or Alport syndrome;
  • if you are taking azathioprine or mercaptopurine; or
  • if you have ever had an allergic reaction to allopurinol or another medicine.

Do not take allopurinol if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are taking this medicine.

Allopurinol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby.

Do not breast-feed while taking allopurinol.

How should I take allopurinol?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.

Allopurinol is usually taken once per day, but your doctor may recommend a different schedule. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Allopurinol is not for treating an acute gout attack. Take colchicine or an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) to relieve pain and swelling. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if you have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Allopurinol can decrease blood cell counts. Your blood may need to be tested often. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be checked.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are taking allopurinol.

You should not stop using allopurinol suddenly. Stopping suddenly may make your condition worse.

If you have gout, do not take pain or anti-inflammatory medications during your treatment with allopurinol. You may have an increase in gout attacks for several months as your body adjusts to allopurinol.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of allopurinol can be fatal.

What should I avoid while taking allopurinol?

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase your risk of liver damage.

Allopurinol can make it harder for your body to absorb other medications. If you take other medications, take them at least 2 hours before or after allopurinol.

Allopurinol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
  • upper stomach pain (that may spread to your back), nausea or vomiting, fast heart rate;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain; or
  • high blood sugar--increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss.

Common side effects may include:

  • mild skin rash;
  • diarrhea; or
  • mild nausea.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect allopurinol?

Other drugs may affect allopurinol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

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