Clinical trial finds: kidney medication ineffective

While, reportedly, up to 20% of kidney disease patients are prescribed Allopurinol, a new randomised control trial has revealed that Allopurinol does not prevent the worsening of the disease.

The two-year study by University of Queensland researchers at the Translational Research Institute, published in The New England Journal of Medicine randomly assigned adults with stage 3 or 4 chronic kidney disease and no history of gout, who had a urinary albumin:creatinine ratio of 265 or higher or an eGFR decrease of at least 3.0ml per minute per 1.73m2 of body-surface area in the preceding year to receive Allopurinol (100-300mg daily) or placebo.

“Our study compare the use of Allopurinol to a placebo and found, to our surprise, that it made no difference to the rate of kidney function decline,” says Queensland Kidney Transplant Service Medical Director, Professor David Johnson, adding that up until now there has been “little robust evidence to demonstrate Allopurinol’s benefit in slowing kidney disease”.

“Based on these results, we believe there is no benefit in prescribing this medication, unless there is an additional specific medical reason, such as gout.”

Professor Johnson cautions, however, that people currently taking Allopurinol to lower blood urate levels do not abruptly stop the treatment – it’s imperative they discuss this first with their doctor.

To read the study, visit: nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa1915833

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