Q:

Can allopurinol make gout attacks worse?

A:

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Allopurinol can’t be started during a painful attack as it can make the pain worse, according to Harvard Health Publications. It dissolves and makes the uric acid crystals smaller, making them move more easily into joint cavities and causing the cavity lining or synovium to be inflamed, explains NHS Choices.

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During attacks, symptoms can be relieved by taking NSAIDs or colchicine and doing self-care techniques, such as applying ice packs, resting and raising the limb, says NHS Choices. Allopurinol lowers uric acid by suppressing xanthine oxidase, the enzyme that converts purines into uric acid. It emerged as a preferred drug in treating gout because it provides for easy compliance taken just once a day. It is also effective whether the cause of the elevated uric acid is poor kidney function or overproduction of uric acid.

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