Aim: To evaluate the appropriateness of allopurinol dosage according to renal function in patients at Dunedin and Wakari hospitals.
Method: A prospective survey of all patients receiving allopurinol therapy at Dunedin and Wakari hospitals during a four week period in January/February 1994 was performed. Data were collected from medication charts, patient notes and laboratory records. Dosage prescribed was compared with established guidelines.
Results: Of 46 patients on allopurinol treatment 18 were prescribed at least 100 mg more than the recommended daily dose. Twenty-nine out of the 46 surveyed patients (median age 77 years) had mild to moderate renal impairment.
Conclusions: A significant proportion of patients were receiving excessive doses. Although information regarding the allopurinol hypersensitivity syndrome and individualised allopurinol dosage is available, it is evident that many practitioners remain unaware of the recommendations.