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What is Mercaptopurine used for?

Mercaptopurine is a cancer medication used to treat certain type of cancer such as leukemia. It belongs to the group of medicines known as antimetabolites. This medicine works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells in the body. This medicine may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

What is the recommended dosage of Mercaptopurine?

The dosage of Mercaptopurine prescribed to each patient will vary. Always follow your physician’s instructions and/or the directions on the prescription drug label.

Take Mercaptopurine with a full glass of water.

What if you miss a dose of Mercaptopurine?

If your physician has instructed or directed you to take Mercaptopurine medication in a regular schedule and you have missed a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, then skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the doses unless otherwise directed.

What if you overdose on Mercaptopurine?

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose of Mercaptopurine, seek medical attention immediately.

What other drugs could interact with Mercaptopurine?

It may be noted that drugs other than those listed above may also interact with Mercaptopurine.

Usually drug interactions occur when it is taken with another drug or with food. Before you take a medication for a particular ailment, you should inform the health expert about intake of any other medications including non-prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines that may increase the effect of Mercaptopurine, and dietary supplements like vitamins, minerals and herbal, so that the doctor can warn you of any possible drug interactions.

Mercaptopurine can interact with blood thinners.

Do let your doctor know if you smoke, consume alcohol or caffeinated drinks, or use illegal drugs as these may interfere with the action of your medication. Make sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions you may have, or any family history of medical problems. Do not start or stop using any medicine without consulting your doctor.

What are the side effects of Mercaptopurine?

Like other medicines, Mercaptopurine can cause some side effects. If they do occur, the side effects of Mercaptopurine are most likely to be minor and temporary. However, some may be serious and may require the individual to inform the doctor or visit the nearest hospital immediately.

It is pertinent to note that side effects of Mercaptopurine cannot be anticipated. If any side effects of Mercaptopurine develop or change in intensity, the doctor should be informed as soon as possible.

Mercaptopurine can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weakness, and skin rash. This is not a complete list of all side effects. Do concur with your doctor and follow his directions completely when you are taking Mercaptopurine.

What are the questions to ask your doctor before taking Mercaptopurine?

Is it possible for me to take Mercaptopurine with other drugs?
Should certain beverages, foods and other products be avoided when I take Mercaptopurine?
What are the possible drug interactions of Mercaptopurine?
How will Mercaptopurine work in my body?
How should Mercaptopurine be taken?
How to reduce the risk of Mercaptopurine drug interactions and side effects?


The health and medical information provided here is intended to supplement and not substitute for the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacists or other health care professional. It should not be understood to indicate that the use of Mercaptopurine is safe, appropriate or effective for you. Always consult your health care professional before using this, or any other, drug.


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