Sulfinpyrazone helps to prevent gout - take the tablets regularly every day.
Drink plenty of water (2-3 litres a day if possible).
Take your doses with a meal or a snack.
|Type of medicine||Uricosuric medicine|
|Used for||To reduce high blood levels of uric acid and to prevent attacks of gout|
Gout causes attacks of painful inflammation in one or more of your joints. It is caused by a build-up of a naturally-occurring chemical in your blood, called uric acid (urate). From time to time the level of uric acid in your blood may become too high and tiny grit-like crystals may form, which typically collect in your joints and tendons. The crystals irritate the tissues of the joint to cause inflammation, swelling, and pain.
If you have had a number of gout attacks, your doctor will prescribe a medicine like sulfinpyrazone to help prevent more attacks from occurring. It reduces the levels of uric acid in your blood by increasing the amount of uric acid your body removes in your urine. Sulfinpyrazone can be prescribed on its own, or alongside another medicine to reduce uric acid called allopurinol.
Before taking sulfinpyrazone
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking sulfinpyrazone it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have a stomach ulcer.
- If you have ever had a blood disorder.
- If you have gallstones.
- If you have a heart condition, or liver or kidney problems.
- If you have a rare inherited blood disorder called porphyria.
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines. It is particularly important if you are taking any medicines which contain aspirin.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine. It is particularly important that you tell your doctor if you have had a bad reaction to aspirin or to a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Examples of NSAIDs include ibuprofen, diclofenac, and naproxen.
How to take sulfinpyrazone
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The manufacturer's leaflet will give you more information about sulfinpyrazone and a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- Do not start taking sulfinpyrazone while you are having a gout attack. Wait a couple of weeks for the attack to settle before starting the tablets.
- Take the tablets exactly as your doctor tells you to. When starting this treatment your doctor will give you a small dose at first (100 mg or 200 mg daily), and will then gradually increase it if necessary. This allows your doctor to make sure that you have the dose that helps your condition and avoids any unwanted symptoms. Your doctor will tell you what dose is right for you and this will also be printed on the label of the pack to remind you.
- Take sulfinpyrazone tablets with a full glass of water, preferably just after eating a meal or a snack. It's important that you drink plenty of water each day - try to drink 2-3 litres every day.
- You may take sulfinpyrazone at whatever time of day you find easiest to remember, although most people choose to take their doses in a morning. Try to take your doses at the same time of day each day, as this will help you to avoid missing any doses.
- If you do forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress. A blood test is often done a month or so after starting treatment, to check that the level of uric acid has come down.
- You need to take sulfinpyrazone every day to prevent gout attacks. During the first few weeks you take it, your blood levels of uric acid may rise for a short while before they fall. This can cause a gout attack. Your doctor will prescribe an anti-inflammatory treatment or colchicine tablets for you to take if this happens, but you should also continue to take your sulfinpyrazone tablets each day.
- Treatment with sulfinpyrazone for gout is usually long-term unless you experience an adverse effect. Continue to take the tablets unless you are advised otherwise.
- There are a number of lifestyle changes that you can make to help reduce the risk of having gout attacks. These include losing weight (if you are overweight), eating a healthy diet, and not drinking much alcohol or sugar-sweetened soft drinks. Your doctor can advise you about the changes which may benefit you.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with this medicine. Do not take anything containing aspirin while you are taking sulfinpyrazone, because aspirin stops sulfinpyrazone from working properly.
Can sulfinpyrazone cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with sulfinpyrazone. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Common sulfinpyrazone side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling or being sick, diarrhoea||Stick to simple foods and drink water to replace any lost fluids|
|Less common side-effects include: swollen ankles or feet due to water retention, allergic skin reactions||Let your doctor know|
Important: if you experience any unexplained bleeding or jaundice (yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes), let your doctor know about it straightaway.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store sulfinpyrazone
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital at once. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading & references
- Manufacturer's PIL, Anturan®/Sulfinpyrazone 100 and 200 mg Tablets, Amdipharm Mercury Company Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated November 2007.
- British National Formulary; 66th Edition (September 2013) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr Adrian Bonsall