10.9 Antigout

Open Resources for Nursing (Open RN)

Antigout medications are used to treat gout, a musculoskeletal disorder. Some antigout medications, such as colchicine, are classified as anti-inflammatory medication. Allopurinol is commonly used to prevent gout from recurring.


Mechanism of Action

Allopurinol blocks the production of uric acid by inhibiting the action of xanthine oxidase.[1]

Indications for Use

Allopurinol is used for the prevention and treatment of gouty arthritis and nephropathy and for the treatment of secondary hyperuricemia.

Nursing Considerations Across the Lifespan

Allopurinol is safe for all ages. For patients with renal impairment, the dose will be reduced.

Adverse/Side Effects

Adverse effects include hypotension, flushing, hypertension, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, hepatitis, renal failure, or a drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) syndrome or drug hypersensitivity syndrome.[2]

Patient Teaching & Education

The medication should be taken as directed.  An alkaline diet may be ordered for the patient, and they may be advised to increase fluid intake to prevent kidney stone formation. The medication may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Patients who consume large amounts of alcohol may increase uric acid concentrations and decrease the effectiveness of the medication.  If patients develop a rash or blood in the urine, this should be reported promptly to the healthcare provider.[3]

Now let’s take a closer look at the medication grid on allopurinol in Table 10.9.[4],[5],[6]

Table 10.9 Allopurinol Medication Grid





Administration Considerations Therapeutic Effects Adverse/Side Effects
Antigout agent allopurinol May be given with milk or meals to decrease stomach upset

Give with plenty of water

May be crushed

Monitor patient’s intake and output

Monitor hematologic, renal, and liver functions before and during therapy

If rash occurs, notify healthcare provider

Prevention and treatment of attacks of gouty arthritis and nephropathy

Treatment of secondary hyperuricemia





Nausea and vomiting




Renal failure


  1. Vallerand, A., & Sanoski, C. A. (2019). Davis’s Drug Guide for Nurses (16th ed.). F.A. Davis Company.
  2. Cleveland Clinic. (2017, January 26). Acute v. chronic pain. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/12051-acute-vs-chronic-pain.
  3. uCentral from Unbound Medicine. https://www.unboundmedicine.com/ucentral
  4. Frandsen, G., & Pennington, S. (2018). Abrams’ clinical drug: Rationales for nursing practice (11th ed.). pg. 305, 310, 952-953, 959-960. Wolters Kluwer.
  5. Vallerand, A., & Sanoski, C. A. (2019). Davis’s Drug Guide for Nurses (16th ed.). F.A. Davis Company.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019, August 28). Opioid overdose, CDC guideline for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/prescribing/guideline.html.


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