Objective: To determine the efficacy and safety of increasing the allopurinol dose above the proposed creatinine clearance-based dose in patients with gout.
Methods: Patients with gout who had been receiving a stable dose of allopurinol for ≥ 1 month were recruited. The dose of allopurinol was increased to obtain the target serum urate level of <0.36 mmoles/liter (<6 mg/dl). Patients were seen monthly until the serum urate concentration was <0.36 mmoles/liter for 3 consecutive months and then were seen every 3 months for at least 12 months. Data were analyzed using the dosage of allopurinol (mg/day) greater than the recommended dosage, as defined by the Hande criteria.
Results: Ninety patients were enrolled. The mean age of the patients was 58.7 years (range 27-83 years), 87.9% were male, and 81.9% were of European ancestry. Forty-five patients had a serum urate concentration of ≥ 0.36 mmoles/liter, and the dose of allopurinol was increased in these patients. Rashes developed in 3 patients, and either allopurinol was discontinued or dose escalation was ceased in these patients. Seven patients were lost to followup or developed intervening medical problems that precluded dose escalation. In 31 (88.8%) of 35 patients who completed the study, the serum urate level was <0.36 mmoles/liter at 12 months. Two of the 5 patients who had a serum urate level ≥ 0.36 mmoles/liter had undetectable levels of plasma oxypurinol, indicating noncompliance with allopurinol treatment. A significant reduction in the serum urate concentration was observed for all allopurinol doses above the recommended dose. Eighteen of 45 patients were receiving furosemide; those receiving furosemide were just as likely as those not receiving furosemide to achieve a serum urate concentration of <0.36 mmoles/liter (72% versus 88.5%; P = 0.24). Patients receiving furosemide required a higher dose of allopurinol to achieve the target serum urate concentration. No serious adverse events were observed.
Conclusion: Increasing the dose of allopurinol above the proposed creatinine clearance-based dose led to a significant reduction in the serum urate concentration. Approximately 89% of patients achieved a serum urate concentration of <0.36 mmoles/liter. In this cohort, toxicity was not increased in patients receiving higher doses of allopurinol, including those with renal impairment.
Copyright © 2011 by the American College of Rheumatology.