Cancer Home > Thioguanine Dosage

The cancer medication thioguanine comes in tablet form. The thioguanine dosage you receive is highly individualized and will depend on a number of things, such as your weight, your height, and how you respond to the medication. The tablets are usually taken once or twice daily, and should be taken on an empty stomach.

An Introduction to Your Dosage of Thioguanine

The dosage of thioguanine (Tabloid®) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, such as:
  • Your weight and possibly your height
  • How you respond to and tolerate the medication
  • Other medical conditions you may have
  • Other medications you are taking.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.

Recommended Thioguanine Dosing Guidelines

Thioguanine doses are highly individualized, and can vary significantly from person to person. When used alone and not in combination with other leukemia medicines, the usual recommended dose is thioguanine 2 mg per kg body weight (about 0.91 mg per lb) per day, rounded to the nearest 20 mg. If no improvement is seen within 4 weeks, the dose may be increased to 3 mg per kg each day (about 1.36 mg per lb).
However, thioguanine is normally used in combination with other medicines. If you are taking thioguanine with other medicines, your healthcare provider will recommend the best dosage and dosing schedule for your particular situation. The amount may be calculated based on your weight or your body surface area, which is determined using your height and weight.
People with a certain inherited (genetic) condition known as thiopurine-S-methyltransferase (TPMT) deficiency are especially sensitive to bone marrow suppression from thioguanine and will, therefore, need lower thioguanine doses. Your healthcare provider may choose to test you for a TPMT deficiency. In addition, people with liver or kidney disease may be treated with lower doses.
Your healthcare provider may temporarily stop treatment or recommend a lower dosage if you develop potentially serious side effects during treatment. In certain cases, such as if you develop serious liver problems, you may need to stop thioguanine treatment altogether.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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