How do I take allopurinol and how long does it take to work?

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Allopurinol is taken in tablet form once daily, preferably after food. The tablet should be swallowed with water.

Allopurinol is available in 100 mg and 300 mg strength tablets. Your doctor will advise you about the correct dose. Usually you’ll start with between 100 mg and 300 mg daily but you may need to increase the dosage if your blood urate level doesn’t come down far enough. Lower doses are used in people with significant kidney or liver disease.

Generally, you shouldn’t start taking allopurinol until an acute attack of gout has completely settled, although sometimes this isn’t possible so the treatment may be started while the attack is in a mild phase. Usually, allopurinol is started 2–3 weeks after an acute attack has settled.

How long does allopurinol take to work?

Allopurinol lowers the level of urate in the blood within a few weeks. However, urate crystals in the tissues dissolve away very slowly and so acute attacks may still occur. Acute attacks of gout will usually stop, often during the first year of treatment with allopurinol.

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