As well as the questions below, you should also refer to questions about all ULT gout medications.
- Why am I still having gout flare ups with allopurinol?
- Though this applies to all ULT, I’m including it here as this is the most common question about allopurinol, especially where the question is extended by “after many months” – e.g. “Why do I have gout pain after 7 months of 300mg daily allopurinol?”.
If it is still happening after 6 to 9 months, the chances are that your allopurinol dose is wrong. In the early months of allopurinol treatment, gout flares are to be expected (though not compulsory). Your doctor should have offered a choice of preventative gout pain relief, or a prescription so you have pain relief when required for the first few months of allopurinol treatment.
- Do allopurinol side effects cause a dry mouth?
- Dry mouth is not listed in allopurinol side effects, but a small number of people have mentioned it in the forum. Note that you can only truly determine if something is a side effect by repeatedly taking, then discontinuing allopurinol for at least a month at a time. This is not recommended with allopurinol, as you will lose all benefits if you stop taking it, though you might be able to take an alternative ULT.
- Is allopurinol for life?
- This question crops up every month, sometimes worded along the lines of “Can I ever stop taking allopurinol?” Like all urate lowering treatments, allopurinol might not be a lifetime gout medication, but you must continue uric acid testing for the rest of your life. If your uric acid levels are stable and below 6mg/dL, then it is sufficient to test once or twice per year. Otherwise, test every month – especially if you change dose, or undergo drastic lifestyle changes. When your test results, and complete absence of gout flares, show that all old uric acid crystals have dissolved, you can reduce allopurinol dose, possibly to zero, but restart if your uric acid tests show levels rising over 6mg/dL.
- Does allopurinol cause sun sensitivity?
- Sun sensitivity is not listed in allopurinol side effects, but a small number of people have mentioned itchy red spots and “prickly heat” in the forum. Cool showers may help, but take advise from your doctor before applying sun-block treatments. Note that you can only truly determine if something is a side effect by repeatedly taking, then discontinuing allopurinol for at least a month at a time. This is not recommended with allopurinol, as you will lose all benefits if you stop taking it, though you might be able to take an alternative Urate Lowering Treatment.