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What Is Thioguanine Used For?

How Does This Medicine Work?

Thioguanine is similar in structure to purines, natural substances that help make up the structure of DNA. It is not entirely clear how the medicine works to treat leukemia; however, what is known is that thioguanine enters into cells, where it is incorporated into DNA. It prevents the DNA from replicating, which is necessary for cells to divide. This keeps the cancer cells from multiplying and may cause the cells to die. 

Can Children Use It?

Thioguanine is approved for use in children. Talk to your child's healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this medicine in children.

Is It Safe for Older Adults to Use Thioguanine?

Older adults can use this medicine. However, there were not enough older adults in clinical studies to determine if they would respond to thioguanine any differently than younger age groups. In general, older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medicine and should usually be started on lower doses.

What About Off-Label Uses?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this medicine for treating something other than AML. This is called an "off-label" use. Possible off-label uses for thioguanine include the treatment of the following conditions:
According to the manufacturer of thioguanine, the medication is not effective for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, or solid tumors.
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Thioguanine Drug Information

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