Gout drug benefits kidney disease patients

Jun 10, 2010

A drug commonly used to treat gout may help maintain kidney disease patients' health, according to an analysis appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). The research is the first to show that allopurinol treatment in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) decreases inflammation, slows the progression of kidney disease, and reduces patients' risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event or being hospitalized.

Allopurinol is a drug used primarily to treat individuals with excess in their blood (hyperuricemia). (The agent inhibits an enzyme involved in the production of uric acid.) Hyperuricemia can lead to gout and, in extreme cases, . Elevated uric acid levels in the blood may also increase one's risk of developing hypertension and . Patients with CKD-who most often die from heart disease—often experience hyperuricemia because of decreased uric acid excretion in the urine; however, studies have not looked at the benefits of allopurinol in these individuals.

To investigate, Marian Goicoechea, PhD, Jose Luño, MD (Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, in Madrid, Spain) and their colleagues conducted a prospective, randomized trial of 113 CKD patients who received either allopurinol (100 mg/day) or who continued taking their usual therapy. The researchers assessed kidney disease progression, cardiovascular events (such as heart attacks), and hospitalizations among patients in the study over two years.

The blood levels of uric acid and C-reactive protein (a marker of ) significantly decreased in patients treated with allopurinol. In the control group, kidney function declined after two years, but in the allopurinol-treated group, kidney function improved. Allopurinol treatment slowed down kidney disease progression regardless of patients' age, gender, and diabetes status; their blood levels of uric acid and C-reactive protein; the amount of protein patients lost in the urine; and the other types of medications patients used. In addition, compared with usual therapy, allopurinol treatment reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 71% and the risk of hospitalizations by 62%.

While allopurinol has significant potential benefits for CKD patients, "these results have to be confirmed in larger prospective trials and are the basis for a hypothesis that still needs to be tested," the authors wrote.

Explore further: MSF fighting cholera outbreak in Tanzania refugee camps

More information: The article, entitled "Effect of Allopurinol in Chronic Kidney Disease Progression and Cardiovascular Risk," will appear online on June 10, 2010, doi:10.2215/CJN.01580210.

Related Stories

Uric acid may provide early clues to diabetic kidney disease

Mar 18, 2008

For patients with type 1 diabetes, increased levels of uric acid in the blood may be an early sign of diabetic kidney disease—appearing before any significant change in urine albumin level, the standard screening test, ...

Low thyroid function common in chronic kidney disease

Jun 11, 2008

Many patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have mild reductions in thyroid function, or subclinical hypothyroidism—a condition that becomes more common as kidney function declines, according to a study in the September ...

Old gout drug found to benefit heart patients

Jun 09, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A drug which has been used to prevent gout for more than 40 years has now been shown to be an effective treatment for angina, research at the University of Dundee has found.

Recommended for you

Sierra Leone marks grim Ebola anniversary

3 hours ago

On May 24 last year a pregnant woman and an older housewife staggered into Kenema hospital in eastern Sierra Leone and were diagnosed within a day as the country's first Ebola cases.

MSF fighting cholera outbreak in Tanzania refugee camps

22 hours ago

Medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) said Sunday it had launched emergency treatment centres in Tanzania, where thousands of Burundians fleeing unrest have been hit by cholera.

Bacteria blamed in indigenous Mexican baby deaths

May 23, 2015

Bacteria—and not a contaminated vaccine as initially suspected—were to blame for the recent deaths of two Mexican babies and for sickening 29 others, according to an official investigation.

Explainer: What is Chagas disease?

May 22, 2015

According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), in a Los Angeles clinic treating patients with heart failure, about 20% of Latin American patients have Chagas disease. What is that?, y ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.