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It is a highly effective antineoplastic drug. It is converted in the body to corresponding monoribonucleotides which inhibits the conversion of inosine monophosphate to adenine and guanine nucleoties. There is also feed back inhibition of de novo purine synthesis.


Childhood acute leukemia, choreocar-cinoma. Chronic granulocytic leukaemia.


2.5 mg/kg/day, half dose for maintenance.



Special Precautions

Renal or hepatic dysfunction. Monitor blood count, hepatic function, uric acid levels. Paediatrics: Reduced dose necessary. Pregnancy: Not usually prescribed. Lactation: The drug passes into breast milk. Elderly: Reduced dosemay be necessary.

Side Effects

Bone marrow depression, nausea, vomiting,Hepatotoxicity, rash, fever, intestinal ulcers, hyperuricaemia.

Drug Interactions

Allopurinol increases the blood level of mercaptopurine, anticoagulant action of warfarin may be inhibited by mercaptopurine, other myelosuppressive agents potentiate antineoplastic effect.

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