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People who have acute myeloid leukemia (AML) may benefit from thioguanine. By disrupting the ability of cancer cells to grow and divide, the medication can help relieve cancer symptoms and slow down the progression of the cancer. It comes as a tablet that is taken once or twice daily. Side effects may include low levels of white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cells.

What Is Thioguanine?

Thioguanine (Tabloid®) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Acute nonlymphocytic leukemia is more commonly known as acute myeloid leukemia, or acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Thioguanine is normally given as part of a combination treatment that includes other medicines.
 
Thioguanine belongs to a group of medicines called purine analogs. The active ingredient in the medication is thioguanine. Healthcare providers may also refer to it as 6-thioguanine, or simply TG.
 
(Click What Is Thioguanine Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any chemotherapy medicine, thioguanine can cause side effects, some of which can be significant and potentially serious. In fact, most people will experience some type of adverse reaction during treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about ways to prevent or lessen reactions to this drug.
 
Common side effects of thioguanine include but are not limited to:
 
  • Low white blood cells, which could increase the risk for infections
  • Low platelets, which could cause bleeding
  • Low red blood cells, which could lead to anemia.
 
(Click Thioguanine Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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