Used with other medicines to treat certain kinds of leukemia.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if thioguanine or mercaptopurine (Purinethol®) have not been effective in treating your condition in the past.
How to Use This Medicine
- Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- Drink at least 6 to 8 large glasses of liquid every day while you are using this medicine.
- If you vomit right after you take this medicine, call your doctor.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using mesalamine (Asacol®, Pentasa®), olsalazine (Dipentum®) or sulfasalazine (Azulfidine®).
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
- You should not use aspirin or any product that has aspirin in it (such as some cold medicines) unless you have talked to your doctor.
- Talk to your doctor before getting flu shots or other vaccines while you are receiving this medicine. Vaccines may not work as well, or they could make you ill while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.
- Tell your doctor if you have gout, liver disease, or a history of kidney stones.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
- This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
- This medicine may make your mouth sore and irritated. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush or mouth swab to brush your teeth.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Bloody or black, tarry stools.
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
- Lightheadedness or fainting.
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach.
- Pale skin, weakness.
- Severe mouth sores that keep you from drinking liquids.
- Stomach pain, especially on the right side of your stomach.
- Unusual bruising or bleeding.
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Review Date: 2011-02-04