Medications and Drugs
Brand Names: Purinethol
Generic Name: mercaptopurine (Pronunciation: mer KAP toe PURE een)
What is mercaptopurine (Purinethol)?
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.
Mercaptopurine 50 mg-ROX
round, yellow, imprinted with 54 420
Mercaptopurine 50 mg-TEV
round, yellow, imprinted with 5510, 9 3
Purinethol 50 mg
round, white, imprinted with PURINETHOL 04A
What are the possible side effects of mercaptopurine (Purinethol)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using mercaptopurine and call your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms of lymphoma:
Stop using mercaptopurine and call your doctor at once if you have any of these other serious side effects:
Less serious side effects may include:
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.
What is the most important information I should know about mercaptopurine (Purinethol)?
Do not use mercaptopurine if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.
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.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, night sweats, itching, loss of appetite, weight loss, tiredness, feeling full after eating only a small amount, pain in your upper stomach that may spread to your shoulder, nausea, easy bruising or bleeding, pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Mercaptopurine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. Your blood may need to be tested often. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding injury. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
- Complementary Treatments for Cancer
- Treatments for Multiple Myeloma
- Controling of Treatment Side Effects