Mercaptopurine, 6-MP tablets
What do mercaptopurine tablets do?
MERCAPTOPURINE (6-MP, Purinethol(R)) is a type of chemotherapy for treating cancer. Mercaptopurine interferes with the growth of cancer cells. It is used for treating acute lymphocytic leukemia (a cancer in which increased numbers of abnormal white blood cells are formed).
What should my health care professional know before I take mercaptopurine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
• bleeding problems
• blood disorders
• dental disease
• having intramuscular injections
• infection (especially virus infection such as chickenpox or herpes)
• kidney disease
• kidney stones
• recent radiation therapy
• an unusual or allergic reaction to mercaptopurine, other chemotherapy, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
• pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I take this medicine?
Take mercaptopurine tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Finish the full course prescribed by your doctor or health care professional, even if the tablets make you feel unwell. Do not stop taking except on your prescriber's advice.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, skip that dose unless your prescriber or health care professional tells you otherwise. Do not take double or extra doses. If you vomit after taking a dose, call your prescriber or health care professional for advice.
What other medicines can interact with mercaptopurine?
• live virus vaccines
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including nonprescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking mercaptopurine?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
• black, tarry stools
• blood in the urine
• dark yellow or brown urine
• difficulty breathing
• fever or chills, cough or sore throat
• lower back pain
• mouth or lip sores
• nausea, vomiting
• pain or difficulty passing urine
• swelling of the lower legs or feet
• unusual bleeding or bruising, pinpoint red spots on the skin
• unusual tiredness or weakness
• yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
• darkening of the skin, possible rash
• loss of appetite