Uricosuric agents lower
uric acid levels in the body by increasing the
elimination of uric acid by the kidneys.
Uricosuric agents are used to lower
the uric acid level in the blood and to prevent the formation of uric acid
crystals in your joints and kidneys. They are also used to reduce the frequency
of recurrences of acute
Uricosuric agents are never started
during a gout attack. But they should be continued if you are already taking
Uricosuric agents are not recommended for people who:
Uricosuric agents can lower uric
acid levels in people who have hyperuricemia and gout. Continuous use of uricosuric
agents lowers uric acid levels and reduces both the chance of forming and the
size of gritty, chalky clumps of uric acid crystals (tophi). But up to 25 out of 100
people using uricosuric agents to lower uric acid levels do not have adequate
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
Uricosuric agents should not be started until
the symptoms of a gout attack are gone. But if you are already taking these
medicines, you should continue to take them, even during an
Gout attacks may increase at first for some people taking
probenecid. To avoid this, doctors may also prescribe colchicine or low-dose
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which
reduce the inflammation caused by uric acid crystals. After uric acid levels have been normal for 6 to 12 months and
no further attacks occur, colchicine or NSAIDs usually do not need to be
Salicylates, such as aspirin, can make uricosuric agents less effective. Talk to your doctor if you take daily aspirin to help reduce your chances of having a stroke or a heart attack. Low-dose aspirin may be important for the prevention of
stroke or heart attack, so your doctor may want you to continue to take it.
You can take these medicines with milk or food to reduce the
chance of stomach irritation.
kidney stones, drink more fluids while taking these medicines.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or trying to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
Wise C (2007). Crystal-induced joint disease. In DC
Dale, DD Federman, eds., ACP Medicine,
section 15, chap. 9. New York: WebMD.
June 12, 2012
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
& Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
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