Febuxostat | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

febuxostat, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Uloric
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for febuxostat

Oral tablet
1

Febuxostat is used to treat hyperuricemia (constantly high levels of uric acid) in adults who have gout.

2

Febuxostat comes as a tablet that you take by mouth.

3

Febuxostat is only available as the brand-name drug Uloric.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Gout flare ups

You may have more gout flare ups when you start taking febuxostat. You should continue taking this drug even if gout flare ups occur. Your doctor may give you nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or colchicine to prevent flare ups when you start febuxostat. The flare ups may last up to 6 months.

Liver injury

Your doctor may do blood tests to check your liver function before you start this drug. This drug can also cause inaccurate liver function test results. This effect may make it difficult for your doctor to tell how this drug is affecting your liver. If you develop liver damage while taking this drug, your doctor may stop your treatment with this drug.

Heart attack

Febuxostat may cause heart problems that can lead to heart attack. Symptoms of a heart attack can include:

  • chest pain or discomfort
  • upper body discomfort
  • shortness of breath
  • cold sweats
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sudden and unexplainable dizziness or extreme tiredness

If you experience these symptoms, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

Stroke

Febuxostat may cause problems in the blood vessels that go to your brain. This can lead to stroke. The symptoms of a stroke can include:

  • sudden numbness or weakness in your face, arms, or legs
  • sudden confusion
  • trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • trouble seeing out of one or both of your eyes
  • sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
  • sudden and unexplainable severe headache

If you experience these symptoms, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

What is febuxostat?

Febuxostat is a prescription drug. It comes as a tablet that you take by mouth.

Febuxostat is available as the brand-name drug Uloric. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version.

Febuxostat may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

Febuxostat is used to decrease your symptoms of gout. Symptoms of gout include pain, swelling, redness, heat, soreness, and stiffness in certain joints.

How it works

Febuxostat belongs to a class of drugs called xanthine oxidase inhibitors. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way.

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How it works

Febuxostat belongs to a class of drugs called xanthine oxidase inhibitors. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Febuxostat decreases uric acid levels by blocking xanthine oxidase. Xanthine oxidase is an enzyme that helps your body make uric acid from xanthine. High levels of uric acid in your blood can cause gout.

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febuxostat Side Effects

Oral tablet

More common side effects

The more common side effects of febuxostat can include:

  • nausea

  • joint pain

  • rash

  • inaccurate liver function test results

  • gout flare ups

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 or local emergency services if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Liver injury. Symptoms can include:

    • tiredness
    • lack of appetite
    • unexplained weight loss
    • discomfort in the upper right part of your abdomen
    • dark urine
    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • Heart attack. Symptoms can include:

    • chest pain
    • shortness of breath
    • discomfort in your upper body
    • cold sweats
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • sudden dizziness
    • sudden, unexplained tiredness
  • Stroke. Symptoms can include:

    • weakness or numbness in one part or side of your body
    • slurred speech
    • sudden confusion
    • trouble seeing in one or both of your eyes
    • sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
    • sudden and unexplainable severe headache
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

When you start taking febuxostat, you may experience a flare up of gout symptoms. Your doctor may give you nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or a drug called colchicine to treat or prevent the gout flare ups. These flare ups may last up to 6 months. You should continue taking febuxostat even if this happens.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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febuxostat May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Febuxostat can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Drugs you should not use with febuxostat:

Do not take these drugs with febuxostat. Doing so can cause dangerous effects in your body. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Azathioprine
  • Mercaptopurine
  • Didanosine
  • Pegloticase

Interactions that can increase your risk of side effects:

Taking febuxostat with certain drugs raises your risk of side effects from those drugs. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Theophylline
    • Febuxostat can change how theophylline breaks down. Your doctor may monitor the level of theophylline in your blood to make sure it’s not too high.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
uric acid level warning
People with other causes of high uric acid levels

If you have high uric acid levels associated with cancer or cancer treatments or with Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, this drug may not be a good option for you. Levels of a substance called xanthine could build up in your urine and cause stones in your urinary tract.

liver disease warning
Liver disease

This drug has not been studied in people with severe liver disease. If you have severe liver disease, talk to your doctor before using this drug. This drug may also cause liver function test results that aren’t accurate. This may make it difficult for your doctor to tell how this drug is affecting your liver. If you develop liver damage while taking this drug and a cause can’t be determined, your doctor may stop your use of this drug.

kidney disease warning
People with severe kidney disease

Febuxostat has not been studied in people with severe kidney disease or who have dialysis. If you have severe kidney disease, talk to your doctor before using this drug.

pregnancy warning
Pregnant women

Febuxostat is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes febuxostat.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how febuxostat might affect the pregnancy.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the pregnancy.

breast feeding warning
Women who are breast-feeding

Febuxostat may pass into breast milk and cause side effects in a child who is breastfed.

Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking febuxostat.

childrens warning
For children

This medication has not been studied in children. It should not be used in people younger than 18 years.

call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this drug. You should only use this drug if your doctor thinks that the benefit to you outweighs the potential risk to your pregnancy.

Call your doctor right away if you have worsening symptoms of gout or if your gout symptoms do not get better after 6 months of taking febuxostat.

allergy warning
Allergies

Febuxostat may cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

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How to Take febuxostat (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

The dosage information below is for the conditions that febuxostat is most often prescribed to treat. This list may not contain all conditions that your doctor can prescribe this drug for. If you have questions about your prescription, talk with your doctor.

What are you taking this medication for?

High levels of uric acid from gout

Brand: Uloric

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 40 mg, 80 mg

Generic: Febuxostat

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 40 mg, 80 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • Typical starting dosage: 40 mg per day
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may increase your dosage to 80 mg after 2 weeks if your uric acid level does not fall below 6 mg/dL.
  • Maximum dosage: 80 mg per day
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

Febuxostat has not been studied in children. It should not be used in people younger than 18 years.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Febuxostat comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all

Your uric acid levels will likely remain high and continue to cause gout symptoms.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your uric acid levels should decrease after about 2 weeks of taking febuxostat. Over time, your levels of uric acid should stay lower than 6 mg/dL. Your symptoms of gout should also go away.

Febuxostat is used for long-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking this drug
with or without food
You can take febuxostat with or without food
timing considerations
Take this drug at the time(s) recommended by your doctor
can cut or crush
You can cut or crush the tablet
storage considerations
Store this drug carefully
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drug is refillable
A prescription for this drug is refillable
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travel considerations
Travel
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clinical monitoring considerations
Clinical monitoring
See Details
diet considerations
Your diet
See Details
not usually stocked
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead
hidden costs
Hidden costs
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prior authorization needed
Insurance
See Details

Store this drug carefully

  • Store febuxostat at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).
  • Store this drug away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this drug is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this drug to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor should monitor certain health issues while you take this drug. This can help make sure you stay safe during your treatment. These issues include:

  • Uric acid levels. Your doctor may check your levels of uric acid two weeks after starting febuxostat. Your goal is a uric acid level in your blood that is less than 6 mg/dL.

Your diet

Uric acid results from a breakdown of substances called purines. These substances may be in some of the foods you eat. Some foods that contain purines include liver, dried beans and peas, and anchovies. Your doctor or dietician may tell you to limit how much of these foods that you eat. You should also drink plenty of water. Both of these things can help make febuxostat work better for you.

Hidden costs

You may need extra blood tests done to monitor your treatment while you take this drug. The cost depends on your insurance.

Insurance

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor may need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

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How Much Does febuxostat Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for febuxostat

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for febuxostat on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on July 6, 2016

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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