Pharmacology Musculoskeletal Meds #3

Question

A patient with cancer is prescribed allopurinol while receiving chemotherapy and asks the nurse why the drug is ordered. The nurse explains that the drug:

Answers

  1. Helps immune cells to multiply.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because allopurinol does not help immune cells to multiply. Instead, it is used to lower uric acid levels in the body to prevent TLS from occurring associated with chemotherapy treatment. Hyperuricemia is a component of tumor lysis syndrome (TLS), a syndrome that occurs after treatment of cancer that results in rapid death of cells that spill their intracellular debris that accumulates faster than it can be eliminated.

  2. Helps red-blood cell generation.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because allopurinol does not help red-blood cell generation. Instead, it is used to lower uric acid levels in the body to prevent TLS from occurring associated with chemotherapy treatment. Hyperuricemia is a component of tumor lysis syndrome (TLS), a syndrome that occurs after treatment of cancer that results in rapid death of cells that spill their intracellular debris that accumulates faster than it can be eliminated.

  3. Lowers serum and uric acid levels.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because allopurinol is used to lower uric acid levels in the body to prevent TLS from occurring associated with chemotherapy treatment. Hyperuricemia is a component of tumor lysis syndrome (TLS), a syndrome that occurs after treatment of cancer that results in rapid death of cells that spill their intracellular debris that accumulates faster than it can be eliminated.

  4. Helps prevent hair loss.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because allopurinol does not prevent hair loss. Instead, it is used to lower uric acid levels in the body to prevent TLS from occurring associated with chemotherapy treatment. Hyperuricemia is a component of tumor lysis syndrome (TLS), a syndrome that occurs after treatment of cancer that results in rapid death of cells that spill their intracellular debris that accumulates faster than it can be eliminated.

Overview

Allopurinol is used to lower uric acid levels in the body. It can be used in chemotherapy treatment to help prevent hyperuricemia associated with tumor lysis syndrome (TLS), a condition that occurs from chemotherapy that affects kidney function.

Explanation

The correct answer is C. Chemotherapy and other cancer treatments affect kidney function, and administration allopurinol may be used to lower uric acid levels. Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) occurs after treatment of cancer that results in rapid death of cells that spill their intracellular debris that accumulates faster than it can be eliminated. Hyperuricemia is a component of TLS and refers to excess uric acid that is converted to crystals in the kidneys. The other options (A, B, D) are not affected by allopurinol and chemotherapy.

Learning Outcomes

Chemotherapy and other cancer treatments affect kidney function, and administration allopurinol may be used to lower uric acid levels. Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) occurs after treatment of cancer that results in rapid death of cells that spill their intracellular debris that accumulates faster than it can be eliminated. Hyperuricemia is a component of TLS and refers to excess uric acid that is converted to crystals in the kidneys.

Test Taking Tip

A way to remember what allopurinol does as a medication. Think of the “-purin-” in allopurinol stands for “purine” (that the body has difficulty breaking down in gout), and the “uri-” for uric acid that allopurinol removes to prevent uric acid kidney stones.

Video Rationale