Since the time of the ancient Greeks, gout sufferers have treated their attacks with a drug made from the crocus lily bulb called colchicine. That drug may still be used to treat attacks if NSAIDs don't work, but it has the unfortunate side effect of causing severe diarrhea. Therefore, each time ancient people suffered that intense blinding pain in their big toes or other joints, they knew that a round of diarrhea was soon to follow. Keeping that in mind may make the side effects of Zyloprim seem a little more manageable. After all, by taking Zyloprim, there's little to no need to worry about another gout attack.
Zyloprim is a safe drug with fairly mild side effects. Those side effects include nausea, headache, dizziness and drowsiness. There's less of a chance of stomach upset, though, if you take Zyloprim with meals.
About 2 percent of patients on Zyloprim develop a rash, which is a much more serious side effect [source: Simon]. A rash, hives or peeling skin indicate that the user may be suffering an allergic reaction to the drug; other serious side effects include loss of appetite, weight loss, yellowing eyes and skin, painful urination, changes in vision and gastrointestinal distress. Patients who have kidney problems and are taking a thiazide diuretic have a much higher risk of suffering from serious side effects. As always, before starting any medication, patients should share their other medications and conditions with medical professionals.
If Zyloprim's side effects are severe and don't abate over time, medical providers have just a few other options for gout sufferers. Instead of lowering uric acid in the bloodstream, they can try to pump up the amount of uric acid excreted by the kidneys with a drug called Benemid.
For more on gout and other popular prescriptions, see the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
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