1 What is Benemid?

Brand: Benemid, Probalan

Generic: Probenecid

Probenecid, also known and sold under the trade names of Benemid and Probalan, belongs to the group of drugs known as uricosurics. It is used in the treatment of gout and gouty arthritis. It works by lowering the high levels of uric acid in the body, that way it helps the kidneys to get rid of the uric acid.

Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid, which forms crystals in the joints. This medicine does not cure gout but after a few months on this treatment, it will help with preventing the attacks, as long as you are on the treatment with Probenecid.

Probenecid is also used in the treatment for other medical conditions connected with high levels of uric acid in the body. Often, it is prescribed with other medications as well in a combination to get the most beneficial effects from the treatment. 

2 What to Know Before Using

The treatment with Probenecid is a decision that you and your doctor, together will have to make. But, before you agree to the treatment make sure you get informed about the beneficial effects as well as the potential side effects and risks. The beneficial effects must outweigh the potential risks in order this medicine to be prescribed. Also, it is very important to inform your doctor about:

  • Allergies – Inform your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to this medicine (if used before) or to any other medicines, prescribed or no prescribed. Also, inform the healthcare professional about any allergies that you have to any specific food, dye, fabric and etc.
  • Pediatric – Gout is very rare in children, because of that, there are no studies done which would confirm the beneficial effects within children. But, there have been studies on the possible side effects within children, and the studies show no difference in the side effects that appear within adults and children. It is not recommended to be used within children younger than 2 years old.
  • Geriatric – There are no studies that confirm if there is a difference between the possible side effects within older people and young adults.
  • Pregnancy – Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. Studies have not found potential risks to the infant if this medicine is used during the pregnancy. But it is very important to inform your doctor about your pregnancy.
  • Breastfeeding – Inform you doctor if you are breastfeeding. There are no studies which would confirm if there is a harmful effects to the baby if this medicine is used within nursing mothers.
  • Drug interactions – Inform your doctor if you are taking any other medications, prescribed or no prescribed, even vitamins and herbal tea. Certain medications are not recommended to be used in a combination with other, because of the interactions that may occur. But, sometimes the condition requires a certain type of a combination. For example, using Probenecid in a combination with any of the following drugs is not usually recommended, but the doctor may decide to use for the beneficial effects: Avibactam, Cephalexin, Doripenem, Pegloticase and etc.
  • Other interactions – Certain medication require a special diet to be followed, also, it may require to discontinue your usage of tobacco and alcohol. Get directions from your doctor if any special diet needs to be followed.
  • Other medical problems – Inform your doctor about your medical history, any other medical conditions and problems that you have had in the past or at the moment. Especially, inform your doctor if there is a presence of: blood disease, cancer being treated by antineoplastics or radiation, kidney disease or kidney stones, stomach ulcer.

3 Proper Usage

This medication is in a form of a tablet, taken orally. Get the proper directions from your doctor. Take it with food if you have an upsetting stomach ulcer. It is usually taken twice, daily. Do not chew or break the tablet. The dosage is based on your condition and the response to the treatment. You may start with a low dose and then the doctor may increase the dosage.

After a few months if you are gout-free of symptoms the doctor may again lower the dosage. This medication will only relieve the symptoms cause by the gout, but it will not relieve the pain. If you are experiencing pain, contact your doctor in order to prescribe you some pain relievers. Follow the schedule that your doctor will plan for you. If it happens to forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember. But if the time for the next one is soon, skip the missed one and take the next one. Do not double it. If you suspect an overdose, contact your doctor right away.

4 Precautions to Take

Before you agree to the treatment with Probenecid, inform your doctor of any allergic reactions that you have. This medication may contain inactive substances that may make an allergic reaction to occur.

There is a possibility that this medication will make you dizzy, because of that avoid driving or any other activities that require alertness. Kidney problems increase the risks of potential side effects to occur. This is very common within older people, because the function of the kidney decreases with old age.

Because there are no studies that confirm whether this medication is safe to be used within pregnant women and nursing mothers, it should be only used when the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks. 

5 Potential Side Effects

Along with its beneficial effects, there are potential side effects that may occur. Not all people experience side effects, also side effects may be rare or common, serious or just a sign that your body is adjusting to its presence. However, it is important to get informed about the potential side effects in order to notice its presence in time and inform your doctor. The doctor may change the dosage or discontinue the treatment.

  • Nausea, loss of appetite, dizziness, vomiting, headache – are common side effects that are usually present until the body adjusts to the presence of the medication.
  • Lower back pain, problems with urinating, change in the amount and color of the urine – are serious side effects, but it is unlikely that they would appear.
  • Easy bleeding/bruising, signs of infection, severe abdominal pain, pale skin, dark urine and others – are serious side effects, make sure to inform the doctor about its presence right away.

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