Sulfinpyrazone is a medication used to treat chronic gout, also called gouty arthritis. Uric acid, which causes gout, builds up in the joints and causes pain and inflammation. Sulfinpyrazone alleviates these symptoms by reducing levels of uric acid in the blood to prevent gout “attacks.” It will not relieve symptoms of a gout attack already in progress, however. Since it is not a cure for gout, this medication will only help gout patients so long as they continue to take the drug.
Adults will typically start with a dose of 100 to 200 milligrams (mg) daily. The doctor will order the patient to gradually increase the dosage every few days until he is taking a total of 800 mg daily. Gradually increasing the dosage helps prevent complications and side effects. Each dose of the drug should be taken at evenly spaced intervals, and may be taken with food or milk. The full effect of sulfinpyrazone may not be noticed for several months, and patients may continue to suffer from gout attacks while the medicine works to remove the uric acid.
One of the possible complications of sulfinpyrazone is developing kidney stones. Patients are strongly advised to drink at least eight to 10 glasses of water daily to help prevent their formation. Sulfinpyrazone may cause other effects, as well, such as nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Some people may notice joint swelling, redness, or pain. Bothersome or persistent side effects should be reported to the physician.
The doctor must be notified immediately of any potentially serious side effects. These may include painful urination, changes in the amount of urination, or blood in the stool or urine. Difficulty breathing, unusual bruising, and tightness in the chest may also occur. Some patients may notice flu-like symptoms, such as a fever or sore throat. Swollen or painful glands, skin rash, and lower back or side pain are also possible.
Some patients may be unable to take sulfinpyrazone, due to other medical conditions they have. This includes those with blood disease, kidney stones, or kidney disease. Cancer patients and people with stomach ulcers or other stomach problems may also be unable to use it. It is unknown whether sulfinpyrazone will cause harm to an unborn or nursing baby.
People who are on an aspirin regimen, as well as those who take any products that contain aspirin may be unable to use sulfinpyrazone. Blood thinners, acetaminophen, and some vitamins may interact with the drug. Patients should discuss all other medications and supplements with the prescribing physician to avoid an interaction. In addition, they should not consume alcohol, as this can increase uric acid levels.