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.

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  • Purinethol, Purixan
  • More common
    Abdominal or stomach pain or tenderness
    black, tarry stools
    blood in the urine or stools
    clay colored stools
    cough or hoarseness
    dark urine
    decreased appetite
    fever or chills
    headache
    itching
    loss of appetite
    lower back or side pain
    nausea and vomiting
    painful or difficult urination
    pinpoint red spots on the skin
    skin rash
    swelling of the feet or lower legs
    unusual bleeding or bruising
    unusual tiredness or weakness
    yellow eyes or skin
    Less common
    Bleeding gums
    chest pain
    joint pain
    pale skin
    shortness of breath
    sore throat
    sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
    swollen glands
    troubled breathing with exertion
    Incidence not known
    Abdominal or stomach cramping or burning
    constipation
    diarrhea
    heartburn
    indigestion
    joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
    lower back or side pain
    vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
    Some of the side effects that can occur with mercaptopurine may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

    Less common
    Darkening of the skin
    headache
    weakness
    Incidence not known
    Hair loss or thinning of the hair
    low sperm count
  • (oral tablet, oral suspension)