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Febuxostat - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Febuxostat cause?

Some common side effects that you may experience include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Edema (localized swelling due to retention of fluids in tissues)
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
Majority of these effects tend to resolve by themselves.
  • Increase gout flare when you first start taking Febuxostat
    • To prevent this, your doctor may prescribe other medicines, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or Colchicine with Febuxostat for the first 6 months.

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: 
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately
  • Liver problems - possible symptoms include dark urine, feeling tired, lack of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, light-coloured stools, vomiting, or yellow skin or eyes
  • Blood clot in the vessels - possible symptoms include severe chest pain with extreme sweating, severe headache, severe giddiness, passing out, change in strength on different sides of the body, difficulty speaking or thinking. These suggest heart attack and stroke



Gout patients with established cardiovascular (CV) disease treated with FEBUXOSTAT had a higher rate of CV death compared to those treated with allopurinol in a CV outcomes study. 
Consider the risks and benefits of FEBUXOSTAT when deciding to prescribe or continue patients on FEBUXOSTAT. FEBUXOSTAT should only be used in patients who have an inadequate response to a maximally titrated dose of allopurinol, who are intolerant to allopurinol, or for whom treatment with allopurinol is not advisable. 

Before taking Febuxostat , what precautions must I follow?

Inform your healthcare professional if: 

  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding 
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies. Febuxostat may interact with other medicine or supplement that you are taking
  • You have heart, kidney, liver or thyroid problems

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Febuxostat ?

​Medicines such as Azathioprine, Mercaptopurine, Pegloticase and Theophylline should not be taken together with Febuxostat as they might increase the chance of you experiencing severe side effects. Let your doctor know that you are taking Febuxostat before other medications are prescribed.

Febuxostat - Additional Information

  • Tags: Allopurinol, Probenecid
  • Updated on 10/31/2022 12:00:00 AM
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup
The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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