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Purinethol (Mercaptopurine) is used to treat leukemia.

Drug Name

Purinethol (Mercaptopurine)

Drug Uses

Purinethol is used to treat leukemia. It is also used for pediatric non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, polycythemia vera, and psoriatic arthritis. This medication may also be used for inflammatory bowel disease.

How Taken

This is a potent medication. Take it exactly as prescribed. Unless your doctor instructs you otherwise, drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Contact your doctor if you vomit shortly after taking your dose.

Drug Class and Mechanism

Mercaptopurine belongs to the group of cancer-fighting medicines known as antineoplastics, and specifically to the group of antineoplastics known as antimetabolites. Mercaptopurine fights cancer by preventing the growth of cancer cells, which eventually results in their destruction. Mercaptopurine is usually used to treat leukemia.

Missed Dose

Take the dose as soon as remembered but if it is almost time to take your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosing schedule. Do not double dose to catch up.


Store at room temperature away from sunlight and moisture.