Drugs That Increase Uric Acid

Uric acid is a byproduct of the body breaking down purines in the body. If the body has too much purine, due to natural disposition or from eating purine-rich foods, the level of uric acid in the blood rises. Increased levels of uric acid in the blood, also referred to as hyperuricemia, can cause a type of arthritis called gout. Gout occurs due to crystallized uric acid settling in joints in the body. The big toe on the foot is a common area for gout to occur. Symptoms of gout include pain, inflammation and swelling. In addition to extra purine in the body, taking certain medications can increase uric acid levels.

Aspirin tablets in a bottle (Image: Jim Delillo/Hemera/Getty Images)

Thiazide Diuretics

Several medications fall into the class of thiazide diuretics. These oral medicines increase urinary output to help control high blood pressure. As the kidneys pull more fluid out of the body, it increases the risk of uric acid building up due to the decreased ability of the kidney to remove the uric acid. Thiazide diuretics can cause an imbalance in fluids in the body. Symptoms of this imbalance, according to RxList.com, include thirst, dry mouth, drowsiness, confusion, seizures, increased heart rate and decreased urine output. Increased levels of uric acid due to the use of thiazide diuretics may increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease and heart attacks, according to HealthCentral.com.


Aspirin, also referred to as acetylsalicylic acid, is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic medication that can alter the levels of uric acid in the blood. The oral medication also thins the blood and lowers fevers. Low doses of aspirin, classified by infrequent use, can cause an increase in the uric acid levels, according to Lab Tests Online, where as large doses of aspirin can decrease the levels of uric acid.

Anti-Rejection Medications

Anti-rejection medication, such as cyclosporine, can cause increased levels of uric acid in the blood and raises the risk of developing gout. These medications work to increase survival of individuals who undergo an organ transplant, such as the heart, kidney and bone marrow. Cyclosporine may also treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. Kidney dysfunction can occur from taking anti-rejection medications. The damaged kidney loses the ability to efficiently remove uric acid from the blood, which can cause the uric acid levels to rise.

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