Teratogenic Effects: Pregnancy Category C. Reproductive studies have been performed in rats and rabbits at doses up to twenty times the usual human dose (5 mg/kg per day), and it was concluded that there was no impaired fertility or harm to the fetus due to allopurinol. There is a published report of a study in pregnant mice given 50 or 100 mg/kg allopurinol intraperitoneally on gestation days 10 or 13. There were increased numbers of dead fetuses in dams given 100 mg/kg allopurinol but not in those given 50 mg/kg. There were increased numbers of external malformations in fetuses at both doses of allopurinol on gestation day 10 and increased numbers of skeletal malformations in fetuses at both doses on gestation day 13. It cannot be determined whether this represented a fetal effect or an effect secondary to maternal toxicity. There are, however, no adequate or well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Experience with allopurinol during human pregnancy has been limited partly because women of reproductive age rarely require treatment with allopurinol. However, in 2011, a literature publication case report describes the outcome of a full term pregnancy in a 35 year-old woman who had recurrent kidney stones since age 18 who took allopurinol throughout the pregnancy. The child had multiple complex birth defects and died at 8 days of life. A second report in 2013 (Hoeltzenbein M et al (2013); PLoS ONE 8(6): e66637), provided data on 31 prospectively ascertained pregnancies involving mothers exposed to allopurinol for varying durations during the first trimester. The overall rate of major fetal malformations and spontaneous abortions was reported to be within the normal expected range; however, one child had severe malformations similar to those described in the cited earlier case report.
Nursing Mothers: Allopurinol and oxipurinol have been found in the milk of a mother who was receiving allopurinol. Since the effect of allopurinol on the nursing infant is unknown, caution should be exercised when allopurinol is administered to a nursing woman.
Pediatric Use: Allopurinol is rarely indicated for use in children with the exception of those with hyperuricemia secondary to malignancy or to certain rare inborn errors of purine metabolism (see INDICATIONS AND USAGE and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Data upon which the following estimates of incidence of adverse reactions are made are derived from experiences reported in the literature, unpublished clinical trials and voluntary reports since marketing of allopurinol began. Past experience suggested that the most frequent event following the initiation of allopurinol treatment was an increase in acute attacks of gout (average 6% in early studies). An analysis of current usage suggests that the incidence of acute gouty attacks has diminished to less than 1%. The explanation for this decrease has not been determined but may be due in part to initiating therapy more gradually (see PRECAUTIONS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
The most frequent adverse reaction to allopurinol is skin rash. Skin reactions can be severe and sometimes fatal. Therefore, treatment with allopurinol should be discontinued immediately if a rash develops (see WARNINGS). Some patients with the most severe reaction also had fever, chills, arthralgias, cholestatic jaundice, eosinophilia and mild leukocytosis or leukopenia. Among 55 patients with gout treated with allopurinol for 3 to 34 months (average greater than 1 year) and followed prospectively, Rundles observed that 3% of patients developed a type of drug reaction which was predominantly a pruritic maculopapular skin eruption, sometimes scaly or exfoliative. However, with current usage, skin reactions have been observed less frequently than 1%. The explanation for this decrease is not obvious. The incidence of skin rash may be increased in the presence of renal insufficiency. The frequency of skin rash among patients receiving ampicillin or amoxicillin concurrently with allopurinol has been reported to be increased (see PRECAUTIONS).
Drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) syndrome or drug hypersensitivity syndrome (DHS) has been reported in association with allopurinol use. The syndrome includes many of the severe reactions described above, and is potentially life-threatening and fatal. The syndrome is often characterized by fever, severe and profuse skin rash, elevated leukocyte counts and in particular, elevated eosinophil counts, lymphadenopathy, and multi-organ pathologies. Systemic symptoms often included, but were not limited to, the hepatic and renal systems. Symptoms involving the cardiac, gastrointestinal, lymphatic, pulmonary, and ophthalmic systems were also reported as occurring as part of the syndrome. It has been reported that symptoms may develop in approximately 1 week from initiating allopurinol therapy, but longer latency periods have also been reported.
To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Accord Healthcare Inc. at 1-866-941-7875 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Most Common Reactions* Probably Causally Related:
Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea, nausea, alkaline phosphatase increase, SGOT/SGPT increase.
Metabolic and Nutritional: Acute attacks of gout.
Skin and Appendages: Rash, maculopapular rash.
*Early clinical studies and incidence rates from early clinical experience with allopurinol suggested that these adverse reactions were found to occur at a rate of greater than 1%. The most frequent event observed was acute attacks of gout following the initiation of therapy. Analyses of current usage suggest that the incidence of these adverse reactions is now less than 1%. The explanation for this decrease has not been determined, but it may be due to following recommended usage (see ADVERSE REACTIONS introduction, INDICATIONS AND USAGE, PRECAUTIONS, and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Incidence Less Than 1% Probably Causally Related:
Body As a Whole: Ecchymosis, fever, headache.
Cardiovascular: Necrotizing angiitis, vasculitis.
Gastrointestinal: Hepatic necrosis, granulomatous hepatitis, hepatomegaly, hyperbilirubinemia, cholestatic jaundice, vomiting, intermittent abdominal pain, gastritis, dyspepsia.
Hemic and Lymphatic: Thrombocytopenia, eosinophilia, leukocytosis, leukopenia.
Musculoskeletal: Myopathy, arthralgias.
Nervous: Peripheral neuropathy, neuritis, paresthesia, somnolence.
Skin and Appendages: Erythema multiforme exudativum (Stevens-Johnson syndrome), toxic epidermal necrolysis (Lyell’s syndrome), hypersensitivity vasculitis, purpura, vesicular bullous dermatitis, exfoliative dermatitis, eczematoid dermatitis, pruritus, urticaria, alopecia, onycholysis, lichen planus.
Special Senses: Taste loss/perversion.
Urogenital: Renal failure, uremia (see PRECAUTIONS).
Incidence Less Than 1% Causal Relationship Unknown:
Body As a Whole: Malaise.
Cardiovascular: Pericarditis, peripheral vascular disease, thrombophlebitis, bradycardia, vasodilation.
Endocrine: Infertility (male), hypercalcemia, gynecomastia (male).
Gastrointestinal: Hemorrhagic pancreatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, stomatitis, salivary gland swelling, hyperlipidemia, tongue edema, anorexia.
Hemic and Lymphatic: Aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis, eosinophilic fibrohistiocytic lesion of bone marrow, pancytopenia, prothrombin decrease, anemia, hemolytic anemia, reticulocytosis, lymphadenopathy, lymphocytosis.
Nervous: Optic neuritis, confusion, dizziness, vertigo, foot drop, decrease in libido, depression, amnesia, tinnitus, asthenia, insomnia.
Respiratory: Bronchospasm, asthma, pharyngitis, rhinitis.
Skin and Appendages: Furunculosis, facial edema, sweating, skin edema.
Special Senses: Cataracts, macular retinitis, iritis, conjunctivitis, amblyopia.
Urogenital: Nephritis, impotence, primary hematuria, albuminuria.
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