Mercaptopurine is a chemotherapy drug that patients take orally every day. This medication is used to treat acute lymphocytic leukemia, a type of cancer of the white blood cells. This medication stops the growth of cancer cells in order to stop the cancer from spreading.

Side Effects/Warnings

This medication may cause kidney or liver disease if you already have problems in these organs. You should tell your doctor about any problems you’ve had with your kidneys or liver. You should also contact your doctor right away if you have any of the following side effects:

  • Severe lower back or stomach pain
  • Difficulty urinating or pain while urinating
  • Brown urine or tarry, black stools
  • Nausea and vomiting

Tell all doctors and surgeons that you are on this medication. You should check with your doctor before taking any other prescription medications to sure you won’t have a negative interaction. It’s particularly important not to get vaccinations without checking with your doctor.

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