Mercaptopurine

Pronounced

"mer-CAP-toe-pure-een"

Common brand names:

Purinethol

Uses

This medication is used to treat a certain type of cancer (acute lymphocytic leukemia). It is a chemotherapy drug that works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.

Talk to the doctor about the risks and benefits of mercaptopurine, especially when used by children and young adults.

Other Uses

This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This drug may also be used for other types of leukemia or certain types of bowel conditions (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis).

How to Use This Medication

Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking mercaptopurine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Doing so may help decrease the risk of certain side effects (kidney problems).

If you are using the suspension, shake the bottle well for at least 30 seconds before each dose. Carefully measure the dose using the provided special measuring device. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Avoid getting any of the suspension on your skin or in your eyes. If contact occurs, wash the affected skin area or rinse your eyes with water. Consult your pharmacist for details.

The dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of serious side effects will increase.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets.

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Drug information is selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First DataBank, Inc. This is a summary and does not contain all possible information about this product. For complete information about this product or your specific health needs, ask your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional if you have any questions about this product or your medical condition. This information is not intended as individual medical advice and does not substitute for the knowledge and judgment of your healthcare professional. This information does not contain any assurances that this product is safe, effective or appropriate for you.

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Information expires December 2023.