Purinethol (Mercaptopurine) is a prescription medication used to treat cancer of the blood (leukemia) in adults, adolescents, and children. Leukemia is a fast-growing disease that increases the number of new white blood cells. These new white blood cells are immature and unable to grow and work properly. Therefore, they cannot fight infections and may cause bleeding. The active ingredient in Purinethol is Mercaptopurine. Mercaptopurine belongs to a class of drugs called purine antagonists. It works by preventing the growth of cancer cells, which eventually leads to their destruction.
We currently offer the brand Purinethol from Turkey manufactured by GSK. The generic Mercaptopurine is also available from India (6MP by Zydus) and Canada by different manufacturers.
Get medical help imme diately if you have any of these signs or an allergic reaction while taking Purinethol. The most common side effects of Purinethol may include the following:
• Abdominal pain;
• Appetite loss;
• Hair loss;
• High temperature;
Contact your doctor right away if you have any of the severe side effects, including:
• Inflammation of the mouth;
• Inflammation of the pancreas;
• Signs of a serious allergic reaction, including abdominal cramps, breathing difficulties, swelling of the face, mouth, and throat;
• Yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin
These are not all of the side effects of Purinethol. Always contact your doctor if you notice any unusual symptoms.
You should not take Purinethol if you are allergic to Mercaptopurine or any ingredient in Purinethol. Before you start using this medication, tell your doctors about your medical history, especially if you:
• Are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed;
• Are pregnant or planning to be pregnant;
• Have a genetic condition called Lesch-Nyhan syndrome;
• Have a history of chickenpox, shingles, or hepatitis B;
• Have kidney or liver problems;
• Have recently received or are due to receive a vaccine
Tell your doctor about all your medications, including prescription, OTC, herbal supplements, and vitamins. There may be drug interactions between Purinethol and ribavirin, allopurinol, olsalazine, methotrexate, warfarin, phenytoin, infliximab, etc. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Purinethol can cause congenital disabilities in a baby if either parent uses the drug. Do not take this drug in pregnancy. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy. Inform your doctor if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. Mercaptopurine passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing infant. Take Purinethol precisely as prescribed by your doctor. Swallow the tablet whole with water. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablet. It is best to take this drug in the evenings to make it more effective. You can take Purinethol with or without food, but the choice of method should be consistent from day to day. You should take this medicine at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after having milk or dairy products. Your doctor may conduct regular blood tests to check the number and type of cells in your blood. Purinethol may increase your sensitivity to sun and UV light. Limit your exposure and use sunscreen when outdoors. Store Purinethol above 250C. Keep out of the sight and reach of children.