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Mercaptopurine - Chemotherapy Drugs

Mercaptopurine - Chemotherapy Drugs

Manufacturer : Generic | Active substance : Mercaptopurine | Prescription : Not Required

Mercaptopurine is prescribed alone or with other chemotherapy medicines to treat acute lymphocytic leukemia.

Mercaptopurine - Chemotherapy Drugs 50mg

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What is Mercaptopurine?


Mercaptopurine is prescribed alone or with other chemotherapy medicines to treat acute lymphocytic leukemia.


You need to know that acute lymphocytic leukemia is a type of cancer that first starts in your white blood cells.


Mercaptopurine is available in market under different brand names including Purinethol and Purixan.


This chemotherapy medication helps slow down or stop growth of cancer cells in body.


Take this medicine only when prescribed by a doctor to attain maximum benefits from Mercaptopurine.


After a prescription from a doctor, Mercaptopurine can be ordered from a licensed online pharmacy.


You can save on Mercaptopurine price, by availing discounts and deals available at online drugstores.


What are Mercaptopurine uses?


This chemotherapy medication is used for treating:


  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia


How does Mercaptopurine work in your body?


Mercaptopurine is a type of antimetabolite medicine known as a nucleoside metabolic inhibitor.


This medicine works by obstructing cancer cells from being able to make their own genetic material.


In this way, cancer cells are killed and growth of cancer is stopped in body.


How to use Mercaptopurine?


Before starting your treatment with Mercaptopurine, make sure to read patient information leaflet once.


In case, there is any doubt about mercaptopurine dosage or medicine then discuss it with your doctor and then start treatment.


Mercaptopurine 50 mg is taken by mouth once a day with or without food as recommended by a doctor.


Do not crush or chew the tablet and swallow it as a whole with a glass of plain water.


While taking this medicine, patients need to drink plenty of fluids unless otherwise recommended by a doctor.


Doing so can help reduce risk of experiencing certain side effects such as kidney disorders.


In case, you are using suspension form of this medicine then shake the bottle well for 30 seconds and then measure a dose.


Using a provided special measuring device with medicine itself, carefully measure the dose.


Never make use of a household spoon as it can give you an incorrect dose and cause problems.


Avoid getting this medicine on your skin or in your eyes. If contact occurs, rinse eyes or affected skin area with water.


For more details, you can consult your doctor once.


Dosage of this medicine is based on medical condition, response to treatment, and weight of a patient.


Do not increase your dose of Mercaptopurine or use this medicine too often or for a longer time than suggested.


Your condition will not improve faster, instead risk of experiencing severe side effects will increase.


Doctors suggest using this medicine regularly to treat your condition quickly and benefit from it.


Try taking this medication at same time every day so that you remember having it without missing a dose.


As this chemotherapy drug might be absorbed through lungs and skin, so handle this medicine carefully.


Pregnant women should not use this medication strictly because Mercaptopurine can harm an unborn baby.


  • Missed dose


If you have missed a dose of Mercaptopurine then take it as soon as you remember.


Skip your missed dosage, if it's already time for next prescribed dose of Mercaptopurine tablet.


Do not take two doses at same time because this can make you suffer from an overdose.


  • Overdose


In case, you overdose on Mercaptopurine and experience symptoms like trouble breathing or passing out then call a doctor immediately.


Precautions and warnings for Mercaptopurine


Considering a few precautions and warnings before starting treatment can help you to treat your medical condition quickly.


Do not take Mercaptopurine, if you are allergic to it or other inactive ingredients present in this medicine.


Some inactive ingredients of this medicine can cause allergic reactions. Also, let your doctor know if you have any allergies like hives.


Before using this medicine, a doctor should know about your medical conditions, especially:


  • Cancer
  • Kidney disorder
  • Certain enzyme problems like TPMT deficiency
  • Liver problems


Mercaptopurine might make you more likely to experience infections or make current infections worse.


You should stay away from people who suffer from an infection that can easily spread like measles, chickenpox, and flu.


If you are exposed to an infection then immediately contact your doctor and get treatment.


Before having any immunizations or vaccinations, let your healthcare professional know that you use Mercaptopurine.


Avoid coming in contact with people who have received live vaccines recently like flu vaccine.


This chemotherapy drug can make you more sensitive to sun, so limit your exposure time to sun.


It is suggested to use sunscreen and wear proper protective clothing when you go outdoors.


Women using this medicine must discuss with their doctor reliable forms of birth control during treatment & for 6 months after last dosage.


Men using Mercaptopurine should also know about reliable forms of birth control to use during treatment and for 3 months after last dose.


Doctors do not suggest breastfeeding while using this medication and for at least 1 week after last dose of Mercaptopurine.


Side effects of Mercaptopurine


Your doctor has prescribed Mercaptopurine because he thinks its benefits are greater when compared to side effects.


Several people do not experience any serious mercaptopurine side effects during treatment.


Common and mild side effects of this medicine disappear as your body adjusts to it after a few days.


Side effects of Mercaptopurine include:


  • Joint pain
  • Signs of kidney disorders
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach/abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Yellowing skin & eyes


If any of these adverse effects persist or get worse over time, get emergency medical attention.




Drug interactions can completely change working mechanism of Mercaptopurine or even increase risk of side effects.


Let your doctor know beforehand about all products you use including prescription & non-prescription drugs and herbal supplements.


Depending upon your condition, doctor might adjust dosage of Mercaptopurine tablet or suspension.


There are certain products that can interact with Mercaptopurine including:


  • Febuxostat
  • Rituximab
  • Tofacitinib


Sometimes, this medicine can also interfere with some lab tests such as uric acid levels, and cause false test results.


Mercaptopurine is also very similar to Azathioprine. So, do not use any medicines that contain Azathioprine during treatment with Mercaptopurine.




Store Mercaptopurine at room temperature and away from moisture and direct sunlight.


Never discard suspension form of this medicine 8 weeks after opening its bottle.


Keep this medicine away from pets and children. 


Frequently asked questions about Mercaptopurine (FAQs)


  • Is it safe to take a Mercaptopurine tablet?


Yes, this medicine is safe to take under a doctor’s supervision. Follow directions of your doctor for recommended dosage.


  • What are rare side effects of Mercaptopurine?


Rare side effects happen in very fewer people. You might experience one or even more of them including skin rash, loss of appetite, and aching muscles.


  • How long does mercaptopurine stay in your system?


It is said that effectiveness of mercaptopurine in a patient’s body does not reduce over time.


To know more in detail, you can discuss it with doctor.


  • Can mercaptopurine cause problem of hair loss?


There are some people who have experienced hair loss later during treatment. If you also notice hair loss when taking mercaptopurine then discuss it with doctor once.


  • Is mercaptopurine chemotherapy?


Yes, mercaptopurine is a type of chemotherapy medicine that works in cancer cells to disturb how they make their genetic material.

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