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ZYLORIC Tablet (2017)

Active ingredients: Allopurinol

Pharmacodynamic properties

Pharmacotherapeutic group: Preparations inhibiting uric acid production
ATC code: M04AA01

Allopurinol is a xanthine-oxidase inhibitor. Allopurinol and its main metabolite oxipurinol lower the level of uric acid in plasma and urine by inhibition of xanthine oxidase, the enzyme catalyzing the oxidation of hypoxanthine to xanthine and xanthine to uric acid. In addition to the inhibition of purine catabolism in some but not all hyperuricaemic patients, de novo purine biosynthesis is depressed via feedback inhibition of hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase. Other metabolites of allopurinol include allopurinol-riboside and oxipurinol-7-riboside.

Pharmacokinetic properties


Allopurinol is active when given orally and is rapidly absorbed from the upper gastrointestinal tract. Studies have detected allopurinol in the blood 30-60 minutes after dosing. Estimates of bioavailability vary from 67% to 90%. Peak plasma levels of allopurinol generally occur approximately 1.5 hours after oral administration of Zyloric, but fall rapidly and are barely detectable after 6 hours. Peak plasma levels of oxipurinol generally occur after 3-5 hours after oral administration of Zyloric and are much more sustained.


Allopurinol is negligibly bound by plasma proteins and therefore variations in protein binding are not thought to significantly alter clearance. The apparent volume of distribution of allopurinol is approximately 1.6 litre/kg which, suggests relatively extensive uptake by tissues. Tissue concentrations of allopurinol have not been reported in humans, but it is likely that allopurinol and oxipurinol will be present in the highest concentrations in the liver and intestinal mucosa where xanthine oxidase activity is high.


The main metabolite of Zyloric is oxipurinol. Other metabolites of allopurinol include allopurinol-riboside and oxipurinol-7-riboside.


Approximately 20% of the ingested allopurinol is excreted in the faeces. Elimination of allopurinol is mainly by metabolic conversion to oxipurinol by xanthine oxidase and aldehyde oxidase, with less than 10% of the unchanged drug excreted in the urine. Allopurinol has a plasma half-life of about 0.5 to 1.5 hours.

Oxipurinol is a less potent inhibitor of xanthine oxidase than allopurinol, but the plasma half-life of oxipurinol is far more prolonged. Estimates range from 13 to 30 hours in man. Therefore effective inhibition of xanthine oxidase is maintained over a 24 hour period with a single daily dose of Zyloric. Patients with normal renal function will gradually accumulate oxipurinol until a steady-state plasma oxipurinol concentration is reached. Such patients, taking 300 mg of allopurinol per day will generally have plasma oxipurinol concentrations of 5-10 mg/litre.

Oxipurinol is eliminated unchanged in the urine but has a long elimination half-life because it undergoes tubular reabsorption. Reported values for the elimination half-life range from 13.6 hours to 29 hours. The large discrepancies in these values may be accounted for by variations in study design and/or creatinine clearance in the patients.

Pharmacokinetics in patients with renal impairment

Allopurinol and oxipurinol clearance is greatly reduced in patients with poor renal function resulting in higher plasma levels in chronic therapy. Patients with renal impairment, where creatinine clearance values were between 10 and 20 ml/min, showed plasma oxipurinol concentrations of approximately 30 mg/litre after prolonged treatment with 300 mg allopurinol per day. This is approximately the concentration which would be achieved by doses of 600 mg/day in those with normal renal function. A reduction in the dose of Zyloric is therefore required in patients with renal impairment.

Pharmacokinetics in elderly patients

The kinetics of the drug are not likely to be altered other than due to deterioration in renal function (see section 5.2 Pharmacokinetics in patients with renal impairment).

Preclinical safety data


Cytogenetic studies show that allopurinol does not induce chromosome aberrations in human blood cells in vitro at concentrations up to 100 micrograms/ml and in vivo at doses up to 600 mg/day for a mean period of 40 months.

Allopurinol does not produce nitroso compounds in vitro or affect lymphocyte transformation in vitro.

Evidence from biochemical and other cytological investigations strongly suggests that allopurinol has no deleterious effects on DNA at any stage of the cell cycle and is not mutagenic.


No evidence of carcinogenicity has been found in mice and rats treated with allopurinol for up to 2 years.


One study in mice receiving intraperitoneal doses of 50 or 100 mg/kg on days 10 or 13 of gestation resulted in foetal abnormalities, however in a similar study in rats at 120 mg/kg on day 12 of gestation no abnormalities were observed. Extensive studies of high oral doses of allopurinol in mice up to 100 mg/kg/day, rats up to 200 mg/kg/day and rabbits up to 150 mg/kg/day during days 8 to 16 of gestation produced no teratogenic effects.

An in vitro study using foetal mouse salivary glands in culture to detect embryotoxicity indicated that allopurinol would not be expected to cause embryotoxicity without also causing maternal toxicity.