Mercaptopurine

Description

Mercaptopurine is used for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a type of blood cancer where the bone marrow produces cancerous and immature lymphoblasts in large quantities. It is also used to treat Crohn's disease (a condition that affects the lining of the digestive tract), and ulcerative colitis (a condition that causes sores in the intestines).

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Mercaptopurine

  • Lower back or side pain
  • Fever or chills
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Rash or Itching
  • Stomach pain
  • Yellowing of skin or eyes
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Black or tarry stools

Uses of Mercaptopurine

What is it prescribed for?

  • Acute lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Crohn's Disease
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The amount of time required for this medicine to show its action is not clinically established.
  • Duration of effect
    The amount of time for which this medicine remains active in the body is not clinically established.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit-forming tendencies were reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. The risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. The risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding or to discontinue the medicine based on your clinical condition.

Allergy

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known allergy to Mercaptopurine or any other inactive ingredients present along with it.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless absolutely necessary. The risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. The risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor before taking this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding or to discontinue the medicine based on your clinical condition.
General warnings

Liver Impairment

This medicine should be used with caution in patients suffering from liver diseases due to the increased risk of severe adverse effects. Close monitoring of liver function tests is necessary while receiving this medicine. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Kidney Impairment

This medicine should be used with caution in patients suffering from kidney diseases due to the increased risk of severe adverse effects. Close monitoring of kidney function tests is necessary while receiving this medicine. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Infections

Use of this medicine may weaken the immune system and may make you more vulnerable to infections. It is advised that you avoid coming in contact with people suffering from an infection while taking this medicine.

Bonemarrow suppression

This medicine should be used with caution in patients having conditions like thrombocytopenia, agranulocytosis, anemia, or bone marrow suppression due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition. A complete blood count should be performed before initiating treatment with this medicine. Close monitoring of blood counts is recommended during treatment with this medicine. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required based on the clinical condition.

Live attenuated vaccine

Report the administration of a live attenuated vaccine (smallpox, BCG, influenza, measles, rubella, etc.) to the doctor before treatment with Mercaptopurine is initiated. Since Mercaptopurine may alter the effects of the vaccines, your doctor may advise you to postpone therapy with the medicine based on your clinical condition.

Other uses

Your doctor may prescribe this medicine for indications other than those stated above in certain specific circumstances, especially if other medicines are not effective. All the risks and benefits should be discussed with the doctor in such cases.

Missed Dose

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Do not double your dose to make up for the missed dose.

Overdose

Seek emergency medical treatment or contact the doctor in case of an overdose.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.

Instructions

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine

Febuxostat

BCG vaccine

Adalimumab

Azathioprine

Allopurinol

Varicella virus vaccine

Disease interactions

Disease

Information not available.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Take this medicine on an empty stomach, around the same time every day. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts than advised/prescribed. Consult the doctor if you experience any undesirable side effects. Ensure that the course of treatment is completed. Do not stop the use of this medicine without consulting your doctor.
Miscelleneous

To be taken on an empty stomach

To be taken as instructed by doctor

Does not cause sleepiness

How it works
It works by stopping the growth and spread of cancer cells. It also works by decreasing the body's immune system activity
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Antimetabolites, Purine analogues, Antineoplastics

Schedule

Schedule G

Mercaptopurine - DrugBank [Internet]. Drugbank.ca. 2018 [cited 11 December 2018]. Available from:

https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB01033

[Internet]. Accessdata.fda.gov. 2018 [cited 11 December 2018]. Available from:

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2004/09053s024lbl.pdf

[Internet]. Accessdata.fda.gov. 2018 [cited 11 December 2018]. Available from:

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2011/009053s032lbl.pdf

[Internet]. Medicines.org.uk. 2018 [cited 11 December 2018]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.4655.pdf

[Internet]. Medicines.org.uk. 2018 [cited 11 December 2018]. Available from:

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.2949.pdf

[Internet]. Mhra.gov.uk. 2018 [cited 11 December 2018]. Available from:

http://www.mhra.gov.uk/home/groups/spcpil/documents/spcpil/con1530850276261.pdf

DailyMed - Mercaptopurine- mercaptopurine tablet [Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2018 [cited 11 December 2018]. Available from:

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=15904472-4c32-4224-95d3-eb131a7ff9c8

Mercaptopurine: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Medlineplus.gov. 2018 [cited 11 December 2018]. Available from:

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682653.html

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Information on this page was last updated on 6 Feb 2019

Disclaimer

We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.