Sulfinpyrazone is used to prevent gout and gouty arthritis. A gout is a form of arthritis that can affect anyone. It is characterized by sudden or severe attacks of pain, swelling, redness or tenderness in the joints. It often attacks the joint at the base of the big toe. An attack of gout can happen suddenly; when you wake up in the middle of the night with the sensation that your big toe is on fire. The affected joint is swollen, hot, and tender. The signs and symptoms of this condition almost always occur suddenly, often at night. They include:

  • Limited range of motion – as gout develops, you may not be able to move your joints normally 
  • Inflammation and redness – the affected joint or joints become tender, swollen, red, and warm 
  • Lingering discomfort – after the most severe pain subsides, some joint discomfort may last form a few days to a few weeks. 
  • Intense joint pain – gout usually affects the large joint of your big toe but it can occur in any joint. The pain is likely to be most severe within the first 4 – 12 hours after it begins. 

Gout happens when urate crystals mount up in your joint. Wherein, it causes inflammation and intense pain of a gout attack. Urate crystals can form when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood. When it breaks down purines, your body creates uric acid. Purines are substances found naturally in your body. Usually, uric acid dissolves in your blood and passes through your kidneys into your urine. But at times either your body creates excessive uric acid or your kidneys excrete little uric acid as well. Once this occurs, uric acid can build-up and forms a sharp urate crystal in a joint or surrounding tissue that causes inflammation, pain, and swelling.

Sulfinpyrazone is in the class of medications called uricosurics. This helps the kidneys to get rid of uric acid and lowers the high levels of uric acid. Lowering uric acid levels helps your kidney. This also prevents crystals from forming. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved Sulfinpyrazone. This comes as a capsule with dosage strengths of 100 mg and 200 mg for oral use.  

How does Sulfinpyrazone work?

Sulfinpyrazone works by increasing the amount of uric acid that is filtered out of the blood into the urine by the kidneys. This lowers the level of uric acid in the blood. Therefore, it prevents the formation of crystals that causes flare-ups of gout. 

Uric acid is a chemical produced once the body breaks down elements. These are called purine which are usually made in the body and are also found in some foods and drinks. When purines are broken down to uric acid in the blood, the body gets rid of it when you urinate or have a bowel movement. But if your body makes too much uric acid or if your kidneys aren’t working well, uric acid can build up in the blood. 

How to use Sulfinpyrazone?

Sulfinpyrazone is to be taken by mouth. You may take it with food, milk, or antacids to decrease stomach upset. The medication is usually taken twice a day or as directed by your doctor. To prevent kidney stones, it is best to drink a full glass of water with each dose and at least another 8 glasses a day while taking Sulfinpyrazone.Your doctor may instruct you on how to lessen acidity in your urine to prevent kidney stones. 

The dosage of this prescription is based on your medical condition and response to the treatment. Your doctor may direct you to take a low dose at first and adjust your dose based on your uric acid levels and gout symptoms. If you are taking other medications such as cholestyramine, take this drug at least an hour before or 4 to 6 hours after cholestyramine. You may as well consult your doctor for more information. 

Treatment with Sulfinpyrazone should not be started during a sudden or severe gout attack. Wait until your current attack is over before starting this medication. It may cause 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 Sulfinpyrazone, continue taking it along with your medications for gout pain. Use this medication regularly for the best benefit. Take it at the same time and in the same way each day. 

What are the side effects of Sulfinpyrazone?

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Joint swelling, pain, or redness
  • Sore throat
  • Tightening in the chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Skin rash
  • Mouth sores
  • Painful urination
  • Change in the amount of urine 
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Swollen or painful glands
  • Fever

If these side effects persist or get worse, call your doctor right away. 

Warnings and Precautions

  • While taking Sulfinpyrazone, you should have regular blood tests to monitor the levels of blood cells in your blood. Your kidney function should as well be regularly monitored. 
  • This medication should be used with caution in people with heart disease, kidney disease, or a history of kidney stones.
  • This should not be used in people with acute gout, severe kidney or liver problems, or with a history of disturbances in the normal numbers of blood cells in their blood. 
  • Sulfinpyrazone is also not recommended for use in people with peptic ulcers, blood clotting problems, or blood disorders called porphyrias.  
  • If you already had an allergic reaction to this drug, tell your doctor right away. Inform as well if you have any allergies. This drug may have an ingredient that causes an allergic reaction. 
  • This is not suitable for use in children. 
  • Certain medications should not be used during breastfeeding or pregnancy. On the other hand, other medications may be safely used in breastfeeding or pregnancy providing the benefits to the mother outweighs the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are planning a pregnancy or pregnant, before using any medicine.