This medication is used to prevent gout and gouty arthritis. It will not treat a sudden/severe attack of gout and may make it worse. Probenecid belongs to a class of drugs known as uricosurics. It lowers high levels of uric acid in your body by helping the kidneys to get rid of uric acid. When uric acid levels get too high, crystals can form in the joints, causing gout. Lowering uric acid levels may also help your kidneys.
Probenecid is sometimes used along with penicillin antibiotics (e.g., penicillin, ampicillin, nafcillin) to increase antibiotic blood levels. This increase makes the antibiotic work better at treating certain infections. Probenecid works by decreasing the kidneys' ability to remove the antibiotic from the body.
Probenecid should not be used in children younger than 2 years.
To prevent gout, take this medication by mouth, usually twice daily with food or antacids to reduce stomach upset or as directed by your doctor. It is best to drink a full glass of water with each dose and at least another 8 glasses (8 ounces each) a day while taking this drug in order to prevent kidney stones. If you are on restricted fluid intake, consult your doctor for further instructions. Your doctor may also instruct you on how to decrease acidity in your urine (e.g., avoid large amounts of ascorbic acid/vitamin C) to prevent kidney stones. Your doctor may order other medications (e.g., sodium bicarbonate, citrate) to make your urine less acidic.
Dosage is based on your condition and response to therapy. Your doctor may direct you to take a low dose at first, then adjust your dose based on uric acid levels and your gout symptoms. After you have been symptom-free for several months and your uric acid levels are normal, your doctor may lower your probenecid dose to the lowest effective dose. Follow your doctor's directions carefully.
Probenecid should not be started during a sudden/severe gout attack. Wait until your current attack is over before starting this medication. You may experience an increase in the number of gout attacks for several months after starting this medicine while the body removes extra uric acid. If you have a gout attack while taking probenecid, continue taking it along with your medications for gout pain.
Probenecid is not a pain reliever. To relieve pain from gout, continue to take your medicines prescribed for pain from gout attacks (e.g., colchicine, ibuprofen, indomethacin) as directed by your doctor.
If you are taking this medication to raise the level of antibiotics in your body, follow your doctor's directions for when to take the antibiotic and when to take the probenecid.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Nausea, loss of appetite, dizziness, vomiting, headache, sore gums, or frequent urination may occur as your body adjusts to the medicine. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, signs of infection (e.g., fever, sore throat), severe abdominal pain, pale stools, unusual tiredness, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking probenecid, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: low blood counts (e.g., aplastic anemia, bone marrow depression), certain type of kidney stone (uric acid).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: cancer treatment, a certain enzyme deficiency (G6PD), kidney problems (e.g., kidney stones, obstruction), peptic ulcer disease.
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are using this medication.
Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, elderly people may be at greater risk for side effects while using this drug, including stomach problems.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
If you are currently using any of these medications listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting probenecid.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: dyphylline, methotrexate, NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, indomethacin, naproxen), pyrazinamide, salicylates (e.g., high-dose aspirin), certain "water pills" (e.g., furosemide, thiazide diuretics), zidovudine, certain drugs removed from your body by the kidneys (e.g., dapsone, doripenem, ganciclovir, heparin, certain antibiotics such as cephalosporins/penicillins/beta lactams/nitrofurantoin).
Aspirin and other salicylate-type medicines can prevent probenecid from being fully effective. Many nonprescription products contain aspirin. Consult your pharmacist before using nonprescription medicines if you are uncertain whether they contain aspirin. Low-dose aspirin should be continued if prescribed by your doctor for specific medical reasons such as heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams per day). Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Alcohol can decrease this drug's effectiveness. Limit alcohol while taking this medication.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including urine glucose tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe vomiting, loss of consciousness, seizures.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., uric acid blood levels, liver/kidney function tests, complete blood count) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you are using this medication to treat gout, your doctor may recommend a low-purine diet. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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