Benemid or probenecid is a medication that is taken to increase the excretion of uric acid (product of metabolic break down of purine nucleotides) in urine. High blood concentration of this uric acid results in gout. The disease is also associated with other medical conditions like diabetes. The medication was developed as an alternative to the drug caronamide.
Benemid is primarily used to treat pain caused by gout, arthritis and hyperuricemia (abnormal high level uric acid in blood). At times this medication is also used with antibiotics to increase the concentration level of the medicine. It is also used as a masking agent (reagent that is used to hide detection of banned substance).
Benemid should be taken orally with water. The person taking this medication to treat gout has to drink plenty of water in order to prevent kidney stones. The medication is recommended to be taken twice daily with food to avoid the condition of stomach upset. Any individual taking this medication should take the medication only after consulting a physician as he may advise the person on how to reduce the acidity content in urine by taking this medication.
One has to start the treatment with a low dose of Benemid and then increase the dosage based on the content of uric acid and severity of symptoms of gout. The treatment of this medicine is not recommended to be started when the patient is already with severe gout attack.
Important safety information
A person should be very careful while taking zidovudine, penicillin, ganciclovir, lorazepam and quinolone along with Benemid. Hence, it is always better for a person to consult a physician before starting his treatment with this drug.
Before getting prescribed to take Benemid, inform the doctor if you are allergic to Probenicid or any other ingredients in the medication.
Individuals who have certain health conditions should check with the doctor if the drug may affect these problems and regarding safe drug use. These ailments include anemia, kidney or liver disease, kidney stones, bone marrow depression, or any other problem related to the blood count. Also inform the doctor if you have ever been diagnosed with cancer and received treatment for it.
Benemid can make you feel dizzy at times. It is recommended not to drive or operate any hazardous equipment while taking this drug. Avoiding alcohol is also advised as it can increase the risk of side effects from the drug.
If you are expecting to undergo any kind of surgery, even dental, inform the doctor that you are currently taking this medication.
The elimination of the drug is very slow in older people who have lower kidney functioning with age. The side effects may also be more in the elderly.
Pregnant and breast-feeding women should inform the doctor of their health condition and take the drug only if the doctor approves it. The drug should be taken only if absolutely necessary.
While taking this medication, common side effects like frequent urination, vomiting, headache, nausea and loss of appetite may happen. But this all happens only in the initial stage of the treatment. The person under treatment is supposed to stop taking the medicine and consult his doctor immediately if the side effects worsen or occur for a prolonged duration.