Benzbromarone

Benzbromarone is no longer available in New Zealand.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Medicine to prevent gout
  • Benzbromaron AL 100®
  • Desuric®
  • Urinorm®

What is benzbromarone?

Benzbromarone is used as a long-term treatment to prevent gout attacks when other commonly used medicines such as allopurinol don't work well enough or are unsuitable. It helps your kidneys remove uric acid from your blood. Read more about medicines for preventing goutIn New Zealand benzbromarone is available as tablets.

June 2020: Benzbromarone is no longer available in New Zealand
All brands of benzbromarone 50mg and 100mg tablets are out of stock around the world. Due to these stock issues, benzbromarone will no longer be available in New Zealand. If you are taking benzbromarone for your gout, this means you will need to change to another medicine. Talk to your doctor about the different medicines that you could use instead to treat your gout. Read more about benzbromarone discontinuation and medicines for gout.

Dose

  • The usual dose of benzbromarone is 50–100 milligrams once a day.
  • Always take your benzbromarone exactly as your doctor has told you.
  • The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much benzbromarone to take, how often to take it and any special instructions.

How to take benzbromarone

  • Take your benzbromarone dose at the same time each day. You need to take benzbromarone regularly, even when you are feeling well.  
  • Swallow the tablets with a full glass of water.
  • Benzbromarone is best taken with food. 
  • If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day. But if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the amount.

Precautions – before starting benzbromarone

  • Do you have problems with your liver?
  • Do you have kidney problems?
  • Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
  • Are you taking any other medicines? This includes any medicines you buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.

If so, it’s important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start benzbromarone. Sometimes a medicine isn’t suitable for a person with certain conditions, or it can only be used with extra care.

Precautions – while you are taking benzbromarone

  • Drink plenty of water – benzbromarone can cause kidney stones if you do not drink enough water. You should drink at least 2 litres of water each day to help prevent kidney stones.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol – this can increase the risk of side effects, including effects on your liver.
  • Blood tests and monitoring – you will need to have regular blood tests including liver function tests (LFTs) each month for the first 6 months and every 3 months after that. Your doctor will also monitor your uric acid levels to check that benzbromarone is working.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, benzbromarone can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Problems with your liver

Benzbromarone can cause liver problems. If you have nausea (feel sick), vomiting (being sick) or tummy pain, or your skin and eyes turn a yellow colour while you are taking benzbromarone, stop taking the medicine and contact your doctor immediately for a blood test.

You should not drink alcohol and take other medicines, including herbal supplements that can affect your liver, while you are taking benzbromarone.

Other side effects

Side effects What should I do?
  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Vomiting (being sick)
  • This is quite common when you first start taking benzbromarone.
  • Try taking your dose with food. 
  • Let your doctor know.
  • Diarrhoea (runny poos)
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Signs that you may have a kidney stone, such as pain in your lower back or your urine (pee) changes colour to pink, red or brown
  • Tell your doctor immediately or phone Healthline 0800 611 116
  • Signs of problems with your liver, such as tummy pain, your skin and eyes turn a yellow colour, itchy skin, your urine is a dark colour or your poos are a pale colour
  • Tell your doctor immediately or phone Healthline 0800 611 116

Interactions

Benzbromarone interacts with a number of medicines and herbal supplements so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting benzbromarone or before starting any new medicines. 

Learn more

The following links have more information on benzbromarone.

Benzbromarone (Māori) New Zealand Formulary Patient Information

References

  1. Benzbromarone New Zealand Formulary 
  2. Managing gout in primary care – Part 1 BPAC, NZ, 2018
  3. Managing gout in primary care – Part 2 BPAC, NZ, 2018 
Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Angela Lambie, Pharmacist, Auckland Last reviewed: 27 Apr 2018