Itching is a side effect of allopurinol that concerns many gout sufferers. Yet, we know that allopurinol itch is only one of the three types of gout itch. Furthermore, skin-related side effects of allopurinol are well-documented. But allopurinol also has a recognized role in helping itchy skin.
Allopurinol & Itching Research Topics
Here, I review 4 studies about allopurinol itching. Including, 2 cases of allopurinol causing itching. Then, 2 cases of allopurinol relieving itching.
Allopurinol Overdose & Itching
My first study is a case report of a chemotherapy patient who started allopurinol at a dose of 300 mg per day. Being three to six times the initiation dose recommended by ACR gout guidelines.
Among other symptoms, this patient experienced extensive itching (pruritus).
Taghvaye Masoumi, H., Hadjibabaie, M., Zarif‐Yeganeh, M. and Arasteh, O., 2017. Exacerbation of allopurinol‐induced drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms by teicoplanin: A case report. Journal of clinical pharmacy and therapeutics, 42(5), pp.642-645.
Seven days after allopurinol initiation, the patient presented with fever (38.7 °C), dyspnea, shortening of breath, facial edema, generalized pruritus, erythema and macular rash affecting the face, abdomen, trunk, upper and lower limbs, which involved more than 50% of the body surface area
Allopurinol Rash & Itching
My second study describes similar symptoms. But with no details of the allopurinol dose that caused the itchy rash. I've used a photograph from this study as the featured image for this review.
Zemmez, Y. and Hjira, N., 2018. Allopurinol-induced DRESS syndrome: drug reaction with eosynophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS). The Pan African Medical Journal, 30, pp.120-120.
We report the case of a 60-year-old patient with a 1-month history of hyperuricemia treated with allopurinol. The patient presented to the Department of Dermatology with acute rash on the face and the lower limbs […] Lesions were very itchy with burning sensation (B).
Allopurinol Reduces Skin Disease Itching
My third study reveals that allopurinol can reduce itching in some skin diseases.
Lukács, J., Schliemann, S. and Elsner, P., 2018. Treatment of acquired reactive perforating dermatosis–a systematic review. JDDG: Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft, 16(7), pp.825-842.
The acquired reactive perforating dermatosis (ARPD) is a frequent and severely itchy condition that develops in adults, particularly among patients with diabetes and its complications such as renal failure […] Allopurinol may be a valid and helpful treatment. Its exact mechanism of action is unknown: it may act via its antioxidant effect  via inhibition of xanthine oxidase [2, 3, 31, 35]. In the case reports covered by this review, no side effects were observed under allopurinol treatment.
Allopurinol Reduces Psoriasis Itching
My final study investigates psoriasis, another common skin disease. Researchers determined several causes of chronic itch. Including antacids, angiotensin receptor blockers, angiotensin enzyme converting inhibitors, and beta-blockers. Whereas allopurinol was one of the best ways to reduce chronic itch.
Reszke, R., Białynicki-Birula, R. and Szepietowski, J.C., 2019. Itch in Psoriasis: A New Look at Well-known Subject. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 99(4).
chronic itch was positively correlated with the use of antacids, angiotensin receptor blockers, angiotensin enzyme converting inhibitors, beta-blockers, xerosis intensity and Physician’s Global Assessment score, whereas psychiatric drugs other than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, allopurinol, coexistence of arterial hypertension and application of emollients acted conversely.
Your Allopurinol & Itching Research Story
Which aspects of allopurinol itching are you interested in? Do you think allopurinol might cause or relieve your gout itch?
Please tell me your allopurinol itching story in the Gout Forum.
I refer to these allopurinol itching facts in my forthcoming explanation of Allopurinol and Itching. In the meantime, you should understand the scope of allopurinol itching with respect to Gout Itching. And with respect to Allopurinol Side Effects.
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