How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Febuxostat belongs to the class of medications called xanthine oxidase inhibitors. It is used to lower uric acid levels in people with gout. It works by blocking the formation of uric acid in the body.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each light green to green, teardrop shaped tablet, embossed with "TAP" on one side and "80" on the other, contains febuxostat 80 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, sodium croscarmellose, silicone dioxide, and magnesium stearate; coating: opadry II green (contains polyvinyl alcohol, talc, PEG 3,000, titanium dioxide, D&C Yellow No. 10 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Blue No. 1, and FD&C Blue No. 2).
How should I use this medication?
The recommended dose of febuxostat is 80 mg once daily taken with or without food.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take febuxostat if you:
- are allergic to febuxostat or any ingredients of the medication
- are being treated with azathioprine or mercaptopurine
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time. Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- symptoms of liver damage (such as yellow skin or eyes, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-coloured stools, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, or itching)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- signs of a severe skin reaction such as blistering, peeling, a rash covering a large area of the body, a rash that spreads quickly, or a rash combined with fever or discomfort
- signs of stroke, such as severe headache or vomiting, dizziness, seizures, faintness, changes in vision or speech, visual disturbances, weakness or numbness of the arms or legs
- signs of heart problems, such as shortness of breath, troubled breathing, pain or tightness in chest, or wheezing
- symptoms of a serious allergic reaction such as swelling of the face or throat, hives, or difficulty breathing
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Conditions causing increased uric acid formation: People with medical conditions causing increased uric acid formation (such as cancer or Lesch-Nyhan syndrome) should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how their medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Gout: Do not start febuxostat treatment until an acute attack of gout has completely subsided, as further attacks may be brought on by this medication. Acute gout attacks may be brought on at the start of treatment with febuxostat for people who have not used this medication before. If an acute gout attack develops after starting this medication, call your doctor.
Heart attack: Studies indicate that people taking this medication may have an increased risk of heart attack and strokes. If you experience signs of a heart attack, such as discomfort or pain in the chest, back, neck, jaw, arms, or stomach; difficulty breathing, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness or the feeling of impending doom contact your doctor or get medical attention immediately.
Kidney function: If you have kidney disease or reduced kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: Febuxostat may reduce liver function and can cause liver failure. Your doctor may perform regular tests to check your liver function. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your doctor immediately.
Skin rash: If you develop a skin rash, stop taking this medication and contact your doctor. The skin rash may be the first sign of a serious reaction to this medication.
Stroke: Studies indicate that people taking this medication may have an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. If you experience signs of a stroke, such as confusion, difficulty speaking, loss of coordination, sudden headache or vision changes, contact your doctor or get medical attention immediately.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if febuxostat passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between febuxostat and any of the following:
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.