Generic Name: mercaptopurine (mer-KAP-toe-PURE-een)
Brand Name: Purixan
Purixan suspension is used for:
Treating acute lymphatic leukemia along with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Purixan suspension is an antimetabolite. It works by blocking the growth of certain cancer cells.
Do NOT use Purixan suspension if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Purixan suspension
- you have previously taken Purixan suspension or thioguanine and your cancer did not respond to it
- you are taking allopurinol
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Purixan suspension:
Some medical conditions may interact with Purixan suspension. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have liver or kidney problems
- if you have an infection (including chickenpox) or a history of frequent or prolonged infections, or you have recently had a vaccination
- if you have a history of bone marrow problems, anemia, low white blood cell or platelet levels, or unusual bruising or bleeding
- if you have a history of bowel inflammation (eg, Crohn disease, ulcerative colitis)
- if you have certain enzyme deficiencies (thiopurine methyltransferase [TPMT] or xanthine oxidase) or you have recently had a blood transfusion
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Purixan suspension. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Medicine that may harm the liver (eg, acetaminophen, methotrexate, ketoconazole, isoniazid, certain medicines for HIV infection) because the risk of liver problems may be increased. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines might harm the liver
- Allopurinol, aminosalicylates (eg, mesalamine, olsalazine, sulfasalazine), or medicines that may weaken the immune system because they may increase the risk of Purixan suspension's side effects. Talk with your doctor if you are not sure if any of your medicines may weaken the immune system
- Warfarin because its effectiveness may be decreased by Purixan suspension
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Purixan suspension may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use Purixan suspension:
Use Purixan suspension as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- An extra patient leaflet is available with Purixan suspension. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
- Your doctor will tell you how to take this drug. Be sure you know how to measure your dose, how often to take Purixan suspension, and how to store it. If your doctor does not tell you how to use Purixan suspension or if you are not sure how to use it, talk with your doctor.
- Take Purixan suspension by mouth with or without food.
- Shake well for at least 30 seconds before each use.
- Measure your dose carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with Purixan suspension. Ask your pharmacist for help if you are unsure of how to measure your dose.
- Clean the measuring device as you have been told. If you have questions about cleaning your measuring device, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
- Purixan suspension is pink to brown in color. This is normal.
- Drinking extra fluids while you are taking Purixan suspension is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
- Ask your doctor if you should follow any special guidelines for handling Purixan suspension.
- If you miss a dose of Purixan suspension, call your doctor to find out what to do.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Purixan suspension.
Important safety information:
- Purixan suspension may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
- Purixan suspension may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Purixan suspension before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Talk with your doctor before you receive any vaccine while you are taking Purixan suspension.
- Purixan suspension may increase your risk of developing a tumor or other cancer. Contact your doctor right away if you notice any unusual growths or lumps. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- A rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma (HSTCL) has been reported in patients using Purixan suspension. These cases have been fatal. Most of these cases occurred in teenagers or young adults. Most of these patients were using Purixan suspension to treat certain types of bowel inflammation (eg, Crohn disease, ulcerative colitis). The safety and effectiveness of using Purixan suspension to treat bowel inflammation have not been confirmed. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any type of cancer. Tell your doctor right away if you develop stomach pain or tenderness, fever, night sweats, or unexplained weight loss.
- Purixan suspension may cause severe liver problems. Rarely, this may be fatal. Taking more than the recommended dose may increase this risk. Contact your doctor right away if you develop yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pale stools, nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, or unusual tiredness.
- If you have diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting, talk with your doctor. There may be ways to lower these side effects.
- An enzyme called TPMT helps to break Purixan suspension down in the body. Infrequently, some patients may have decreased TPMT enzyme activity. This may increase the risk of developing serious side effects (eg, severe bone marrow problems). Patients with decreased TPMT enzyme activity may need a lower dose of Purixan suspension. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts, liver function, and TPMT enzyme activity, may be performed while you use Purixan suspension. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- If you may become pregnant, use an effective form of birth control while you take Purixan suspension. If you have questions about effective birth control, talk with your doctor.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Purixan suspension may cause harm to the fetus. The risk of losing the fetus may be increased if taking Purixan suspension in the first trimester but could happen at any time during pregnancy. Do not become pregnant while you are using it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of taking Purixan suspension while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Purixan suspension.
Possible side effects of Purixan suspension:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Diarrhea; loss of appetite; nausea; tiredness; vomiting.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; itching; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); darkening of the skin; severe or persistent diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting; shortness of breath; sores or white patches in the mouth; symptoms of bleeding (eg, throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop); symptoms of infection (eg, fever, chills, cough, or sore throat; warm, red, or painful skin; increased or painful urination); unusual growths or lumps; unusual tiredness or weakness.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of Purixan suspension:
Store Purixan suspension at room temperature, between 59 and 77 degrees F (15 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. After opening, throw away any part of Purixan suspension not used after 6 weeks. Keep Purixan suspension out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about Purixan suspension, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Purixan suspension is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Purixan suspension or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Purixan suspension. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Purixan suspension. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Purixan suspension.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More about Purixan (mercaptopurine)
- Other brands: Purinethol