If you’re looking at treatment options for certain conditions caused by high uric acid levels, you may want to learn more about allopurinol (Zyloprim, Aloprim).
Allopurinol is a generic prescription drug that’s used to treat the following conditions in adults and children:
- high uric acid level caused by tumor lysis syndrome, which can result from certain cancer treatments
- kidney stones
Allopurinol belongs to a group of drugs called xanthine oxidase inhibitors. It comes as a tablet that you swallow and an intravenous (IV) solution that a healthcare professional gives as an infusion. (This is an injection into a vein given over time.) The tablet is used to treat all of the conditions listed above. The IV solution is only used to treat high uric acid level from certain cancer treatments.
Keep reading for details on allopurinol and cost, and how to save money on prescriptions.
Note: For more details on allopurinol, see this in-depth article.
The price you pay for allopurinol can vary. Your cost may depend on your treatment plan, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy you use.
To find out how much you’ll pay for allopurinol, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Note: If you have insurance, you may need to get prior authorization before your insurance provider will cover allopurinol. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss allopurinol in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered.
If allopurinol requires prior authorization and you don’t receive it before you start treatment, you could pay the full cost of the drug. So be sure to ask your insurance company whether allopurinol requires prior authorization.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about allopurinol and cost.
Is the price of allopurinol 100-mg tablets less expensive than the 300-mg tablets?
It’s possible. Your cost of allopurinol may depend on whether your doctor prescribes the 100-milligram (mg) or 300-mg tablet. It may also depend on the number of tablets prescribed.
If you have insurance that covers prescription drugs, ask your insurance provider for information about the cost of allopurinol. If you don’t have insurance, your doctor or pharmacist can let you know how much you’ll pay for this drug.
Where can I buy allopurinol for the lowest price?
If you’re looking for the lowest price for allopurinol and you have insurance, you might want to contact your insurance provider. Some insurance providers have preferred pharmacies, and your medication may cost less at these pharmacies.
If you don’t have insurance coverage for prescriptions, ask your pharmacist what the cash price is for allopurinol. That’s the amount you’ll pay without any discounts.
If you’re having difficulty paying for your allopurinol prescription, see the “Can I get help paying for allopurinol?” section below for a few resources.
Allopurinol is a generic drug. This means it’s an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. A generic is considered to be just as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics generally cost less than brand-name drugs.
Allopurinol comes in brand-name versions called Aloprim and Zyloprim. To find out how the costs of these drugs and allopurinol compare, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
If you’ve been prescribed allopurinol and you’re interested in using Aloprim or Zyloprim instead, talk with your doctor. They may prefer that you take one version instead of the other. In addition, you’ll need to check with your insurance provider. This is because it may only cover one drug or the other.
Why is there such a cost difference between brand-name drugs and generics?
Years of research and testing are needed to ensure that brand-name drugs are safe and effective. This testing can make the drugs expensive.
The drugmaker of a brand-name drug can sell the drug for up to 20 years. After that, other drugmakers can create generic versions. This competition in the market can lead to lower costs for generics. And because generics have the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs, they don’t need to be studied again. This can also lead to lower generic costs.
If you take allopurinol tablets long term, you may be able to lower your costs in the following ways:
Look into getting a 90-day supply of your medication. You may be able to get a 90-day supply of allopurinol if approved by your insurance company. This could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost of allopurinol. If you’re interested in getting a 90-day supply of this drug, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Use a mail-order pharmacy to get your medication. Using a mail-order pharmacy might help lower your cost for allopurinol. Plus, you could get your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order drugs. You may also be able to get a 90-day supply of the drug through mail order.
If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest online pharmacy options that could work for you.
If you need help covering the cost of allopurinol or understanding your insurance, check out these resources:
On these sites, you can find insurance information, details on drug assistance programs, and links to savings cards and other services.
If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you still have questions about the cost of allopurinol, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to give you a better idea of what you’ll pay for this drug. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you’d pay for allopurinol.
Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:
- Will my dosage of allopurinol affect the cost?
- Are there other lower-cost drugs that could treat my condition?
- What are my options if I can’t afford my medication?
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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 another 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.