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Febuxostat - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Febuxostat: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is Febuxostat?

Febuxostat is a prescription medicine used to reduce blood uric acid levels. Abnormally elevated levels of Febuxostat can cause gout and hyperuricemia. It is generally prescribed to patients who suffer from gout and don’t respond to allopurinol treatments.

Upon use, initially, it increases the gout flare and then gradually reduces it. Hence Febuxostat is recommended in combination with other pain relievers.

Febuxostat should never be taken without a doctor’s consultation as it may cause life-threatening cardiovascular disorders.

What are the uses of Febuxostat?

Febuxostat is mainly used to treat gout syndrome and flares. It works to reduce uric acid deposition in the body. Uric acid is produced naturally in the body due to metabolism, but excess amounts can cause joint inflammation and pain.

It is beneficial when other gout drugs like allopurinol are rendered useless or can not be taken due to complications.

It works by blocking the precursor enzyme, xanthine oxidase that is essential for uric acid synthesis.

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What are the side effects of Febuxostat?

Febuxostat has many side effects; some are noted below:

  • Gout flares during the initial stage.
  • Rashes.
  • Nausea.
  • Joint ache.
  • Wrong liver function test reports.

Other severe side effects are:

  • Heart problems
  • Breathing difficulty. 
  • Chest pain. 
  • Excessive perspiration. 
  • Stroke.
  • Loss of coordination and balance.
  • Paralysis of one side of the body.
  • Speech slurring.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Liver dysfunctions.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Jaundice.
  • Dark-colored urine.

Consult our experts or get medical help at Yashoda Hospitals if you observe any symptoms mentioned above.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Febuxostat

1. When to stop Febuxostat?

Febuxostat should never be suddenly stopped unless there are allergic developments. Initially, Febuxostat knocks out the accumulated uric acid crystals from their place, causing increased gout flare-ups. Eventually, the dislocated crystals start dissolving, reducing gout. Hence one should continue the prescribed dosages and precautions of Febuxostat normally. Sudden discontinuation will, in turn, aggravate gout.

2. What does Febuxostat do?

Febuxostat is an inhibitor of the enzyme called xanthine oxidase. It has a strong affinity for the enzyme and binds with it, preventing it from oxidizing xanthine and xanthine derivatives into uric acid. Thus Febuxostat lowers the blood’s uric acid level, the chief antagonist for gout and hyperuricemia.

3. Does Febuxostat increase creatinine?

No. Placebo studies conducted show that administration of Febuxostat doesn’t have any notable effect on the serum creatinine level. In comparison, other long-term studies with larger groups have demonstrated that Febuxostat causes a decrease in blood creatinine levels. However, this reduction is as low as 0.3mg/dl compared to others who don't take Febuxostat.

4. Is Febuxostat safe?

No. Febuxostat is typically prescribed only when other drugs are unsuccessful in controlling blood uric acid levels.

However, precautions are to be taken as Febuxostat has been reported to cause severe cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and strokes. Also, it causes allergic reactions like hives, rashes, breathing problems, fever, and other skin reactions. If it does, immediately seek medical help.

5. Is Febuxostat the same as uloric?

Yes. Febuxostat is sold in the market under the brand name Uloric. Uloric is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor and is available only under prescription. It is used for controlling uric acid levels in the blood. Uric acid crystals may accumulate in the joint regions causing extreme swelling and pain in gout patients.

6. What is the best time to take Febuxostat?

Febuxostat is best taken in the morning with or without food. It is best to take the medicine at the same time daily and should never be discontinued even if signs of improvement in the initial stage are unobserved. If you have missed a dosage, skip it, and continue with the next dose, as overdosing may be fatal.

7. Can I take allopurinol and Febuxostat together?

No, it usually is not recommended. Therapeutic duplication of the same medicine category is risky and must be administered under strict medical supervision and only in dire needs. However, there are specific incidents of combination therapy of Febuxostat and allopurinol in severe patients with multiple other syndromes. It is successful in significantly reducing blood urate levels.

8. Is Febuxostat safe for kidneys?

Yes. Hyperuricemia (constantly elevated blood uric acid levels) is responsible for chronic kidney diseases (CKD). Febuxostat lowers the uric acid level in the body and has been found to cause no adverse effects on renal function in both moderate to severe patients suffering from kidney dysfunction. This is because Febuxostat is metabolized mainly through the liver and doesn't affect the kidneys.

9. Is Febuxostat better than allopurinol?

Both Febuxostat and allopurinol are enzyme inhibitors that lower the blood uric acid level by blocking the production of uric acid in the body. Studies show that the standard 80 mg dose of Febuxostat taken daily is more effective than a 300 mg daily dosage of allopurinol in reducing the blood urate in patients.

10. How long should I take Febuxostat?

Febuxostat is a uric acid-reducing drug that is used for treating gout syndrome. Generally, Febuxostat is to be ingested daily for at least six months before improvements are observed. It helps in controlling the frequency of gout attacks. It should not be discontinued without a doctor's consultation, even after gout is healed, as sudden stoppage may increase gout.

Call our medical expert advisors at Yashoda to get details on Febuxostat uses, side effects, and dosages and precautions.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.

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