Fifty patients with gout were randomly allocated to one of 2 groups receiving allopurinol, either continuously or for 2 months every year. Patients with renal functional impairment or tophacous gout were excluded. Duration of treatment ranged from 2-4 years. Acute gouty arthritis occurred to a similar degree in the 2 groups during the first year, but thereafter attacks occurred with diminishing frequency in the continuous group compared with the intermittent group. We concluded that the intermittent administration of allopurinol as given here is less effective in controlling symptoms of gout than continuous therapy.