6-Mercaptopurine (6-MP, Purinethol) For the Treatment of Cancer
6-Mercaptopurine is chemotherapy given for the treatment of all acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
How It Is Given
It is taken by mouth most often as a single daily dose, or for a set number of days per month. It is best taken on an empty stomach which means 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.
Common Side Effects
- Reduced blood counts
Less Common Side Effects
- Mouth sores
- Loose, frequent stools
- Nausea and vomiting
- Skin rash
- Kidney changes may occur
- Liver changes may occur
- Decreased appetite
Call Your Health Care Provider if You Develop
- Fever greater than 100.8° F
- Trouble urinating or burning with urination
- Nausea or vomiting not controlled by medicine
- Allopurinol should be stopped before taking 6-MP.
- Blood tests will be taken to check your liver and kidney function.
- Let your health care provider know if you are taking warfarin (Coumadin®).
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/16/2012
Reproduced with permission from the 1989-2006 United States Pharmacopeial Convention, Inc. Printed in 3/2006 by the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority, Department of Nursing, Madison WI. UWH #5535
Print Health Fact For You