Arthritis Home > What Is Allopurinol Used For?
Sometimes, people undergoing cancer treatment (such as chemotherapy or radiation) develop high uric acid levels. This is often due to "tumor lysis syndrome," a group of problems that occurs when a large tumor is destroyed by chemotherapy or radiation. As the cancer cells are destroyed, they leak uric acid into the blood, leading to very high uric acid levels. Allopurinol can help to lower uric acid levels.
When used for preventing high uric acid levels in cancer patients, allopurinol should only be continued when the patient is at a high risk for this problem (usually only a few days at a time).
Allopurinol is approved for preventing recurring kidney stones in people with high uric acid levels in the urine. This medication is useful for uric acid stones as well as calcium oxalate stones (as high uric acid levels can increase the risk of calcium stones). Because taking allopurinol is not without risks, your healthcare provider should periodically reassess your need to keep taking allopurinol for preventing kidney stones.