Mercaptopurine is an immunosuppressant medicine used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease. It calms down your overactive immune system that causes inflammation in your bowel. It is also used for other conditions.
Take mercaptopurine regularly as directed with a glass of water. Swallow the tablets whole – do not break, crush or chew.
If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses at the same time.
Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. echinacea) or recreational drugs.
|Side Effects||Recommended action|
Reduced number of blood cells that fight infections or help your blood to clot - symptoms include: fever, chills, sore throat or generally feeling unwell, or easy or unusual bruising or bleeding
Severe stomach pain
Symptoms of liver problems including: yellow skin or eyes, itching, dark urine, pale bowel motions, abdominal pain
|Tell your doctor immediately|
|Tell your doctor|
|Tell your doctor if troublesome|
|Take with food|
If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.
This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.
Prepared by the MyMedicines Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Te Whatu Ora - Waitaha, New Zealand. March 2023
For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?
Te Reo Māori information sheets supported by Health Quality and Safety Commission New Zealand
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My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.
For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?
My Medicines is developed by a team at Te Whatu Ora – Waitaha. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed