How Do Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors Work?

Reviewed on 1/21/2022

How do xanthine oxidase inhibitors work?

Xanthine oxidase inhibitors are medications prescribed for the treatment of gout, a painful condition caused by excessive uric acid levels in the blood (hyperuricemia). Uric acid is a waste product from the metabolization of purine, an essential chemical compound in the body, also found in many foods. Cells use purine to make the building blocks of DNA and RNA.

Excess uric acid gets deposited as monosodium urate crystals in joints, bones, and soft tissues, inducing an immune reaction that results in inflammation and associated symptoms. Gout most commonly affects the big toes, but can also affect other joints such as ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, and fingers.

Xanthine oxidase inhibitors reduce uric acid production by inhibiting the activity of xanthine oxidase, an enzyme that synthesizes uric acid from hypoxanthine, a purine derivative. Xanthine oxidase inhibitors specifically inhibit xanthine oxidase, without affecting the purines vital for DNA and RNA synthesis.

How are xanthine oxidase inhibitors used?

Xanthine oxidase inhibitors may be administered as oral tablets or intravenous (IV) injections, and are approved by FDA to prevent and treat the following conditions:

What are side effects of xanthine oxidase inhibitors?

Side effects of xanthine oxidase inhibitors may include the following:

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What are names of xanthine oxidase inhibitor drugs?

Generic and brand names of xanthine oxidase inhibitor drugs include:


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