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When and How to Take This Medicine

Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with mercaptopurine include the following:
  • This medication comes in the form of a tablet. It is usually taken by mouth once a day.
  • Mercaptopurine should be taken on an empty stomach. Food may reduce the amount of the drug absorbed from your digestive tract into your bloodstream.
  • Mercaptopurine may be more effective if taken in the evening.
  • Make sure to drink plenty of fluids during treatment to help stay hydrated.
  • Try to take your dose at about the same time each day to keep an even level of the drug in your bloodstream.
  • Mercaptopurine tablets can be made into a suspension (a liquid). Talk to your healthcare provider about this option if you or your child has difficulty swallowing the tablets.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not stop taking it just because you feel better. 

Dosing Information for Mercaptopurine

The dose of mercaptopurine your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, such as:
  • Your weight
  • 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.
(Click Mercaptopurine Dosage for more information.)

Drug Interactions

Mercaptopurine may react with several other medicines (see Drug Interactions With Mercaptopurine).
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Mercaptopurine Drug Information

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