Compare Allopurinol vs. Benemid

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Zyloprim
(allopurinol)

Benemid
(probenecid)

Lowers uric acid levels in blood, and prevents gout flare-ups. Zyloprim (allopurinol) works well to prevent gout attacks and is cheaper than some alternatives, but it takes a few weeks to start working.Lowers uric acid levels and strengthens penicillin's effect. Benemid (probenecid) can be used to lower high uric acid levels in people with gout, but it is not a first-choice treatment because it takes a long time to kick in.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.05Allopurinol
Reviews for Allopurinol
71%
of people (All ages) say Allopurinol is worth it
52%
say it works well
5%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Zyloprim (allopurinol)?
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Have you used Benemid (probenecid)?
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Side effects
AllopurinolBenemid

The Allopurinol FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Allopurinol side effects »

The Benemid FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Benemid side effects »
How it works
AllopurinolBenemid
Zyloprim (allopurinol) is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor. It lowers uric acid levels in your blood, which can stop gout attacks and kidney stones.Benemid (probenecid) stops the kidneys from saving uric acid, so more uric acid leaves the body when you urinate. It also helps antibiotics like penicillin last longer in the body since it stops penicillin from going into the urine.
Type of medication
AllopurinolBenemid
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
AllopurinolBenemid
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Pill
Used for
AllopurinolBenemid
Risk factors for serious side effects
AllopurinolBenemid
  • History of kidney stones
  • Taking other medications that also cause sleepiness
  • Recreational drug use
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Elderly
Detailed Zyloprim (allopurinol) risks & warnings »
  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
  • Taking Benemid (probenecid) for the first few weeks
  • History of kidney problems
  • History of esophagus or stomach problems, including ulcers
Detailed Benemid (probenecid) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Food
AllopurinolBenemid
  • Take with food or milk to prevent an upset stomach.
  • Benemid (probenecid) can irritate your stomach or esophagus, and worsen ulcers. However, this is rare. Take Benemid (probenecid) with food to help stop this from happening. If you get chest pain or stomach pain, or worsening heartburn while taking Benemid (probenecid), talk with your doctor.
  • Take Benemid (probenecid) with food or antacids to minimize stomach side effects.
Kidneys and liver
AllopurinolBenemid
  • Kidney stones can form while taking Zyloprim (allopurinol), so you need to drink a lot of fluids to help prevent this.
  • Benemid (probenecid) can cause kidney stones. Make sure to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day while taking Benemid (probenecid). Let your doctor know if you start having back pain, belly pain, or blood in your urine as these may be signs of a kidney stone.
Sleep
AllopurinolBenemid
  • Taking Zyloprim (allopurinol) can make you feel sleepy or dizzy, especially if you're taking other medicines that can also make you feel sleepy, or if you're taking recreational drugs or drinking too much alcohol. Avoid driving or doing other tasks that require concentration until you know how this medication affects you. Get up very slowly from a seated or lying down position.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
AllopurinolBenemid
  • Zyloprim (allopurinol) works well to lower uric acid in the body.
  • It is available as a generic medication.
  • Benemid (probenecid) is available in generic.
  • It can raise levels of certain antibiotics in the body and make those antibiotics work better.
  • It is recommended as a second-choice medicine to help lower uric acid levels if they're not going down fast enough.
Downsides and risks
AllopurinolBenemid
  • Zyloprim (allopurinol) can raise the number of gout attacks in the first few weeks.
  • It can take 2 to 6 weeks to feel the full effects of Zyloprim (allopurinol).
  • Kidney stones can form while taking Zyloprim (allopurinol), so you need to drink a lot of fluids to help prevent this.
  • Benemid (probenecid) is not a first-choice treatment for gout because it takes a while to kick in.
  • It doesn't work well in people who are using aspirin, or have kidney problems.
  • You have to take Benemid (probenecid) 2 times a day. Other stronger drugs for gout are only taken 1 time a day.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
AllopurinolBenemid
  • Drink plenty of water while taking Zyloprim (allopurinol).
  • Take with food or milk to prevent an upset stomach.
  • It takes at least 2 to 6 weeks to experience the full benefit of this medicine.
  • Your doctor can run blood tests to make sure the medication is working as it should.
  • During the first few weeks of starting this, you may need to be on a second anti-gout medicine to prevent flare-ups because Zyloprim (allopurinol) can cause gout attacks when you first start it.
  • If you're taking this because you have cancer, your doctor might have to change the doses of some of your chemotherapy drugs.
  • Take Benemid (probenecid) with food or antacids to minimize stomach side effects.
  • Benemid (probenecid) doesn't work as well in people with kidney problems or the elderly.
  • Don't take aspirin while taking Benemid (probenecid).
  • Drink plenty of water while on Benemid (probenecid).
Learn more
More about AllopurinolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zyloprim (allopurinol)?
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More about BenemidSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Benemid (probenecid)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it