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<p>Allopurinol is a structural analogue of hypoxanthine. Allopurinol, as well as its primary active metabolite - oxypurinol, inhibits xanthine oxidase - an enzyme that converts hypoxanthine to xanthine and xanthine to uric acid. Allopurinol reduces the concentration of uric acid in the serum and urine, thereby preventing the deposition of uric acid crystals in tissues and/or promoting their dissolution. Besides suppressing purine catabolism in some (but not all) patients with hyperuricemia, a large amount of xanthine and hypoxanthine becomes available for the reformation of purine bases, leading to the inhibition of de novo purine biosynthesis through a feedback mechanism mediated by the suppression of the enzyme hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase. Other metabolites of allopurinol include allopurinol riboside and oxypurinol-7 riboside.<\p>