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Mercaptopurine Description

Mercaptopurine Description


Pronunciation : (mer kap toe pyoor' een)

Trade Name(s) : Empurine, Mercapthol, Puri-nethol, Purinetone, Zypurin

Why it is prescribed: Your doctor has ordered the drug mercaptopurine to help treat your illness. In addition to mercaptopurine, your doctor may have ordered other cancer-fighting drugs; this treatment is called combination therapy. Your doctor may measure the effectiveness of your treatment using laboratory tests and physical examinations. In general, the length of treatment depends on the types of drugs you are taking, how well your body responds to them, and the type of cancer you have.

When it is to be taken: This drug comes in tablet form. Mercaptopurine resembles normal cell nutrients needed by cancer cells to grow so the cancer cells take up mercaptopurine by mistake. Once in these cells, mercaptopurine interferes with the growth of the cancer cells.

How it should be taken: The purpose of chemotherapy is to control your illness so that your own body can aid in your recovery. It is important to build up your body's defense system, and a balanced diet is needed to build a healthy body. Ask your doctor for advice on your diet.

Special Instruction :
1. It is especially important to prevent infection and injuries. Avoid people with contagious diseases such as the flu.
2. Keep all cuts and scratches clean. Maintain good personal hygiene, including hand washing and mouth care.
3. To avoid injuries, shave with an electric razor instead of blades and wear protective clothing when working in the yard and garden.
4. Do not take any medications, especially those containing aspirin, without medical advice.
5. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages.
6. If your mouth becomes dry, eat moist foods, drink plenty of fluids, and suck on sugarless hard candy.
7. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and citrus juices.

Side Effects :
1. Although not everyone experiences side effects during chemotherapy, some people do. If any of the effects becomes intolerable, let your doctor know.
2. The most common side effect of mercaptopurine is a decrease in the number of blood cells. These cells include white blood cells that fight infection, red blood cells that carry oxygen and energy, and platelets that help clot blood and promote healing.
3. You may also experience weakness, aching, chills, headache, and loss of appetite, but these symptoms generally do not last long.
4. Mercaptopurine may affect the lining of your mouth, causing redness, irritation, or sores.
5. You may experience a sore throat or mouth pain. It is important to take regular care of your mouth to prevent infection.
6. If you notice any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor as soon as possible: abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin, fever, change in normal bowel habits for more than two days, cough, sore throat, bruising, unusual bleeding or rash, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath.

Other Precautions :
1. Your doctor may order test before, during, and after your treatment to see if your blood cells are affected by the drug.
2. Brush with a soft-bristle toothbrush or cotton swab. Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol or lots of salt because they can irritate your mouth. It is also important to eat well. Careful food selection will allow your mouth to heal while providing good nutrition.
3. Try to maintain your normal activity schedule, but avoid stressful situations and be careful not to overexert yourself. Remember to take a break and rest whenever you feel tired.
4. Tell your doctor if you are taking allopurinol; it may be necessary to adjust your dosage of mercaptopurine.
5. You should not assume that you cannot get pregnant or get someone else pregnant just because you are on chemotherapy. You should not plan to have children while receiving chemotherapy or for a while after treatments. Use a reliable method of birth control to prevent pregnancy

Storage Conditions : Keep it in safe place, away from children.

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