Why is this medication prescribed?
Allopurinol injection is used to treat high levels of uric acid (a natural substance that builds up in the blood as tumors break down) in people with certain types of cancer who are being treated with chemotherapy medications who cannot take oral allopurinol. Allopurinol is in a class of medications called xanthine oxidase inhibitors. It works by reducing the production of uric acid in the body.
How should this medicine be used?
Allopurinol comes as a powder to be mixed with liquid to be injected intravenously (into a vein). It is usually injected once a day or it may be injected every 6, 8, or 12 hours. Allopurinol injection is usually given 24 to 48 hours before chemotherapy is started.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before receiving allopurinol injection,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to allopurinol, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in allopurinol injection. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking while you are receiving allopurinol injection. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney or liver disease or heart failure.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while receiving allopurinol injection, call your doctor.
- you should know that allopurinol may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Drink at least eight 8-ounce (240-milliter) cups of water or other liquids each day while receiving allopurinol unless directed to do otherwise by your doctor.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Allopurinol injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- pain or itching at injection site
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms and call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- rash, itching, or hives
- peeling, blistering, or shedding skin
- red or purple spots on skin
- painful urination
- blood in the urine
- irritation of the eyes
- swelling of the lips or mouth
- fever or flu-like symptoms
- swollen glands
- yellowing of the skin or eyes, pain in the upper right part of the stomach, nausea, vomiting, itching, or extreme tiredness
Allopurinol injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to allopurinol injection.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are receiving allopurinol injection.
Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about allopurinol injection.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.