Uloric is a medication that is used for lowering uric acid levels in the body. Specifically, this prescription medication is approved to prevent gout attacks. Uloric works by inhibiting a certain enzyme in the body responsible for producing uric acid. Possible off-label uses of Uloric include preventing high uric acid levels due to cancer treatment and preventing recurrent kidney stones in people who have high uric acid levels.
What Is Uloric Used For?Uloric® (febuxostat) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of gout. It belongs to a class of medications known as xanthine oxidase inhibitors.
Gout is a very painful form of arthritis. It is caused in part by high uric acid levels (see Causes of Gout). Uric acid is a substance that results from the breakdown of purines, which are part of all human tissue and are found in many foods. Normally, uric acid is dissolved in the blood and is passed through the kidneys into the urine, where it is eliminated from the body. If the body increases its production of uric acid, or if the kidneys do not eliminate enough from the body, increased levels of uric acid build up in the blood.
Excess uric acid can form crystals in joints or other parts of the body. These crystals can lead to inflammation, causing painful gout symptoms. This increased level of uric acid in the blood can also lead to:
- Deposits of uric acid (called tophi) that look like lumps under the skin around the joints and at the rim of the ear
- Kidney stones from uric acid crystals in the kidneys.
How Does Uloric Work?Uloric lowers uric acid levels by inhibiting xanthine oxidase, an enzyme responsible for producing uric acid in the body. By inhibiting xanthine oxidase, Uloric slows down the rate at which the body produces uric acid.
Uloric is approved for treating gout. It works well for preventing gout attacks, although it is not very effective for treating a gout attack that is already occurring (in fact, it can temporarily worsen gout, especially at first). For these reasons, the medication is usually used along with other gout medications, especially at first. There is no cure for gout, and medications may work better when combined with additional measures, such as a gout diet.