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Virtual Assistant

Our new Arthritis Virtual Assistant uses artificial intelligence to answer your arthritis related questions 24/7.

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Open Mon–Fri 9am–8pm.

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What can it do?

Welcome to the beta Arthritis Virtual Assistant. At the moment it can give you general information about your condition and medication, and provide you with useful exercises to help manage your arthritis.

Why do we need your help?

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant has been built to learn and improve with every use. That way, whenever you use it, you’re indirectly helping another person get the answers that they need for their arthritis.

What can you ask?

You'll get the best response if your question relates to a single type of arthritis, and is expressed as clearly and simply as possible. For example, "What are the best exercises for osteoarthritis?" or "What are the side effects of methotrexate?"

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Arthritis Virtual Assistant

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant (AVA) allows you to ask questions and get answers about your condition and how best to manage it. It’s based on over 80 years of our research and uses artificial intelligence to decide on the best responses to give you. The AVA is currently in ‘beta’ testing which means it’s still learning and will improve as more people use it.

The AVA provides general information. For further info, or if you have any concerns you should speak to a healthcare professional.

The AVA is intended for UK users. Medical practice may differ in different regions, so please seek local advice instead of using the AVA if you are outside the UK.

By using the AVA you confirm that you understand and accept the terms of use and consent to how we will use the information you provide.

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Helpline 0800 5200 520 More information

Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis.

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> > > > > What is allopurinol and why is it prescribed?

What is allopurinol and why is it prescribed?

Allopurinol is used for the long-term treatment and prevention of gout. Taken regularly, it can stop attacks of gout and help prevent damage to the joints.

The body naturally produces a substance called urate, which is normally dissolved in the blood until it's passed out of the body in the urine. When too much urate is produced, or if the body cannot get rid of it properly, the blood can't dissolve all the urate and solid crystals can form in and around joints causing inflammation and pain.

Allopurinol blocks an enzyme called xanthine oxidase which is involved in producing urate. Over a few weeks allopurinol can lower urate levels in the blood and stop new crystals forming. Once urate levels are low enough existing crystals begin to dissolve. This can take some months and you may have more attacks of gout during this time. This is more likely if your urate levels are very high or you've had gout for a long time. It doesn't mean the drug isn't working. Attacks of gout usually stop within a year as long as your urate level has lowered sufficiently.

Usually, you'll be offered allopurinol for gout if blood tests show that your urate level is high and one or more of the following applies:

  • you're having repeated attacks of gout
  • your joints or kidneys have been damaged by attacks of gout
  • you have deposits of urate crystals affecting your skin (gouty tophi).

Your doctor may be cautious about prescribing allopurinol if your kidney or liver function is significantly impaired.

Helpline

0800 5200 520

Our new helpline: Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis. Open Mon–Fri 9am–8pm.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes

Virtual Assistant

Our new Arthritis Virtual Assistant uses artificial intelligence to answer your arthritis related questions 24/7.

Ask a question
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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.