What Is Mercaptopurine?
Mercaptopurine is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
Mercaptopurine is used to treat certain types of leukemia. Mercaptopurine is sometimes given with other cancer medications.
Mercaptopurine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use mercaptopurine if you have ever used mercaptopurine or thioguanine (Tabloid) and they were not effective in treating your condition.
Some people using mercaptopurine have developed a rare fast-growing type of lymphoma (cancer). This condition affects the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, and it can be fatal.
Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of lymphoma, such as: fever, night sweats, weight loss, tiredness, feeling full after eating only a small amount, pain in your upper stomach, easy bruising or bleeding, dark urine, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
You should not use mercaptopurine if you are allergic to it, or if you have ever used mercaptopurine or thioguanine (Tabloid) and they were not effective in treating your condition.
Some people using mercaptopurine have developed a rare fast-growing type of lymphoma (cancer). This condition affects the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, and it can be fatal. This has occurred mainly in teenagers and young adults using mercaptopurine or similar medicines to treat Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
However, people with autoimmune disorders (including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriasis) may have a higher risk of lymphoma. Talk to your doctor about your individual risk.
To make sure mercaptopurine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- liver disease;
- kidney disease;
- any type of viral, bacterial, or fungal infection; or
- ulcerative colitis (treated with mesalamine, sulfasalazine, or similar medicines).
Do not use mercaptopurine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether mercaptopurine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while taking mercaptopurine.
Mercaptopurine Side Effects
Stop using mercaptopurine and call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms of lymphoma:
- fever, night sweats, weight loss, tiredness;
- feeling full after eating only a small amount;
- pain in your upper stomach that may spread to your shoulder;
- easy bruising or bleeding, pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate; or
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Also call your doctor at once if you have:
- signs of infection (fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing);
- unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
- severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;
- pain or burning with urination; or
- bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
Common side effects may include:
- nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
- diarrhea; or
- skin rash.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient’s body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
Do not receive a “live” vaccine while using mercaptopurine, and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), polio, rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.
Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with mercaptopurine, especially:
- sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim (Bactrim, Cotrim, Septra, SMX-TMP or SMZ-TMP);
- warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven); or
- drugs that weaken the immune system such as cancer medicine, steroids, and medicines to prevent organ transplant rejection.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with mercaptopurine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Mercaptopurine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your kidney and liver function may also need to be checked. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
You need to remember certain points such as –
|If you are a woman who is pregnant or wants to have a baby and you are taking Mercaptopurine, let your doctor know right away. This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby. Use a birth control method while you are taking this immunosuppressive medicine. Ask your doctor to help you choose a method of birth control that will work for you.|
|For the safety of the baby, breastfeeding isn’t recommended during treatment. Many immuosuppressive drugs like Mercaptopurine, may appear in high levels in breast milk and could potentially harm your nursing baby. To get more information, you should discuss this with your doctor. Your health care provider might recommend that you stop breast-feeding temporarily or permanently — depending on how long you need to take the medication.|
|You will need to have regular blood tests and check-ups during your treatment with Mercaptopurine. Blood tests are done to help watch your body’s response to treatment. They can show small changes before problems get serious. Keeping track of your results lets your doctor take action as soon as your blood counts change to help prevent many kidney-related problems and renal treatment side effects.|
|Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to Mercaptopurine drug or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes or preservatives. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.|
|Whether it’s safe to drink alcoholic beverages during treatment with Mercaptopurine depends on a number of factors, including which drugs the patient is receiving. Alcohol can interfere with the way some haemo oncology drugs work, so patients should speak with their doctors about any potential side effects of drinking during treatment.|
|Always consult your doctor and pharmacist about taking any other prescription or non-prescription medication, including herbs, supplements and street drugs. This medicine may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how Mercaptopurine works. Taking Mercaptopurine together with certain medicines or products may cause serious side effects.|
|If you miss a dose of Mercaptopurine, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. If it is close to the time of your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your dosing schedule. Do not use extra dose to make up for a missed dose. Please consult your doctor to discuss changes in your dosing schedule or a new schedule to make up for missed doses, if you have missed too many doses recently.|
|Taking a single dose of expired medicine is unlikely to produce an adverse event. Expired drug may become ineffective in treating your prescribed conditions. To be on the safe side, it is important not to use expired drug. If you’ve had a medicine for a while, check the expiry date before using it. If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.|
|Before using Mercaptopurine, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially if you have liver problems (including hepatitis B or C infection), diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, heart or pancreas problems, or low blood potassium levels etc.|
What are the storage instructions for Mercaptopurine ?
Patients must properly store the drug to retain its quality and efficacy. Following storage instructions will be helpful in storing the drug in the best of manner.
- Store Mercaptopurine 50mg Tablets at 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F).
- Consider storing your medications separately from your other family members. This will make it less likely that you take the wrong ones by mistake.
- Store the medicine in a safe place out of the reach of children and pets.
- Keep this medicine away from heat, light and humidity. Improper storage can affect the effectiveness and shelf life of your medicine.
- Do not Store Mercaptopurine in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
In order to legally purchase this medicine from anticancercure.com, you’ll require a prescription from your Registered Medical Practitioner.
The information provided here is for general educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or pharmaceutical advice which should be sought from qualified medical and pharmaceutical advisers.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children and away from pets, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.