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Allopurinol

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

By mouth

Allopurinol is used to prevent or treat high uric acid levels in the blood. Gout or gouty arthritis (inflammation and pain in a joint) is caused by high… Read more

Brand names include: Zyloprim

By injection

Allopurinol injection is used to prevent or treat high uric acid levels in the blood that may be caused by cancer medicines. Allopurinol is a xanthine… Read more

Brand names include: Aloprim

Drug classes About this
Antigout, Urinary Stone Agent
Combinations including this drug

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Allopurinol for preventing mortality and morbidity in newborn infants with hypoxic‐ischaemic encephalopathy

Newborn infants who have been deprived of oxygen before, during, or after delivery (perinatal asphyxia) are at high risk of dying or developing brain damage. Studies using animal models suggest that allopurinol (a drug commonly used for preventing gout) can reduce the level of brain damage following perinatal asphyxia. Three small randomised controlled trials that examined whether giving allopurinol to newborn infants following perinatal asphyxia affected their outcomes were identified. None of these trials provided any evidence of benefit. Larger trials are needed to exclude important effects on survival and disability.

Allopurinol for chronic gout

This summary of a Cochrane review presents what we know from research about the effect of allopurinol compared with placebo or other treatments that reduce uric acid levels in treating people with chronic gout. The review is current to January 2014.

Allopurinol for the treatment of chronic kidney disease: a systematic review

The study found that there is only limited evidence supporting a role for allopurinol in reducing chronic kidney disease progression or cardiovascular events. Adverse events, including serious adverse events, due to allopurinol were found to be rare. In order to determine the effect of allopurinol in reducing chronic kidney disease progression and cardiovascular events, a randomised control trial commparing allopurinal to standard care is required, in addition to supporting data obtained from observational studies of patients with chronic kidney disease and using allopurinol.

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Summaries for consumers

Allopurinol for preventing mortality and morbidity in newborn infants with hypoxic‐ischaemic encephalopathy

Newborn infants who have been deprived of oxygen before, during, or after delivery (perinatal asphyxia) are at high risk of dying or developing brain damage. Studies using animal models suggest that allopurinol (a drug commonly used for preventing gout) can reduce the level of brain damage following perinatal asphyxia. Three small randomised controlled trials that examined whether giving allopurinol to newborn infants following perinatal asphyxia affected their outcomes were identified. None of these trials provided any evidence of benefit. Larger trials are needed to exclude important effects on survival and disability.

Allopurinol for chronic gout

This summary of a Cochrane review presents what we know from research about the effect of allopurinol compared with placebo or other treatments that reduce uric acid levels in treating people with chronic gout. The review is current to January 2014.

Antioxidants as add‐on treatment for people with schizophrenia

Searches for randomised trials were run in 2010 and 2012, review authors found 22 relevant trials that randomised a total of 2041 people with schizophrenia. The trials compared the effects of taking a variety of antioxidants (allopurinol, Ginkgo biloba, N‐acetyl cysteine (NAC), selegiline, vitamins C and E) compared with placebo. Most results showed no real differences between the antioxidants and placebo although there was evidence Ginkgo biloba had a positive effect on psychotic symptoms in the short term. The quality of this evidence was moderate.

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