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What is probenecid?

Probenecid is a medicine used to help protect the kidneys when a patient is given cidofovir. It can also be used to lower uric acid levels in the body. Probenecid is available as a 500 mg tablet taken by mouth. The pharmacy also makes an oral liquid.

Possible side effects of probenecid


  • Nausea and vomiting

Later (usually more than a day after treatment starts)

  • Headache
  • Skin rash, itching
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Joint pain, redness or swelling
  • Feeling dizzy – rise slowly from a sitting or lying position
  • A need to urinate more often
  • Flushing of face (with or without fever)

These are the most common side effects, but there may be others. Please report all side effects to the doctor or nurse.

In case of a severe side effect or reaction, call 595-3300. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833), and press 0 after the call connects.

Special instructions for probenecid

  • Tell your doctor or nurse if you have an allergy to sulfur containing medicines.
  • When taken with cidofovir, probenecid is taken 3 hours before the cidofovir infusion and 2 hours and 8 hours after each cidofovir infusion is complete. It is important to follow the instructions from your doctor.
  • Taking probenecid with food can reduce stomach problems.
  • Drinking plenty of liquids will decrease the chance of kidney stones while you are receiving probenecid. The doctor or nurse will tell you how much liquid you should drink.
  • Store tablets at room temperature.
  • The liquid will be supplied from the pharmacy in individual amber-colored syringes. These may contain different amounts if taken with cidofovir therapy. Read prescription labels closely. Be aware of the dose to be taken and follow instructions from your doctor.
  • The liquid should be stored in the refrigerator. It expires 24 hours after being made by the pharmacy. For outpatient use, contact the pharmacy to arrange pickup times depending upon the cidofovir infusion schedule.
  • The staff will take blood samples regularly to check for kidney function and blood counts.
  • Probenecid may change the blood levels of other medicines or increase their side effects. Always give a complete list of medicines you are taking to your doctor or pharmacist. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new vitamins, herbals, or other medicines.
  • Do not take aspirin or aspirin-containing products with probenecid.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).