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Mercaptopurine (Purinethol, 6-MP) Side Effects

Ask Your Doctor About Adverse Effects Before, During, and After Taking This Drug

By

Updated April 16, 2014

Less commmon:

Check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

  • darkening of skin
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • skin rash and itching
  • weakness

Always Notify Doctor:

More common

  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • yellow eyes or skin

Less Common

  • joint pain
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea and vomiting
  • swelling of feet or lower legs

Rare

  • Sores in mouth and on lips

Notify Doctor Immediately:

Less common

  • black, tarry stools
  • blood in urine or stools
  • cough or hoarseness
  • fever or chills
  • lower back or side pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pinpoint red spots on skin
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

Other Notes:

Because of the way cancer medicines act on the body, there is a chance that they might cause other unwanted effects months or years after the medicine is used. These delayed effects may include certain types of cancer which should be discussed with a doctor.

Mercaptopurine may still produce side effects after you stopped treatment. During this period of time, check with your doctor if you notice any of the following side effects:

  • black, tarry stools
  • blood in urine or stools
  • cough or hoarseness
  • fever or chills
  • lower back or side pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pinpoint red spots on skin
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • yellow eyes or skin

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor. This information is meant only as a guideline - always consult a physician or pharmacist for complete information about prescription medications.

Return to Medication Side Effects Index

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