A patient is prescribed allopurinol for the long-term treatment of gout. The nurse should include which of the following in the teaching plan?
• Allopurinol works by decreasing the amount of uric acid produced by the body. It is used to prevent acute attacks of gout, but it is not helpful to treat acute attacks of gout because it takes 2-6 weeks to be fully effective.
• Patients with gout should reduce available urates by consuming an alkaline diet low in sodium, calcium, and oxalate-rich foods. The patient should consume the drug after meals, try to consume 3L of water a day, and avoid alcohol to reduce uric acid concentrations and the risk of renal calculi.
• Red meats (and other purine-rich foods) should be avoided or eaten in small amounts because they may cause an acute attack of gout. Purines are broken down to make uric acid, which is what is built up or crystalized to cause gout attacks.