Leukemia Home > Purinethol Dosage

When treating acute lymphatic leukemia with Purinethol, the recommended dosage will depend on how much you weigh, how you respond to the medication, and various other factors. This prescription chemotherapy drug comes in the form of a tablet that is taken once daily. It is usually recommended to take this medicine on an empty stomach, preferably in the evening.

An Introduction to Dosing With Purinethol

The dose of Purinethol® (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.

What Is the Recommended Purinethol Dosage?

Purinethol doses are highly individualized, and can vary significantly from person to person. The usual recommended amount for maintenance treatment of acute lymphatic leukemia is 1.5 to 2.5 mg per kg body weight (0.68 to 1.14 mg per lb), rounded to the nearest 25 mg, taken once a day. Your healthcare provider will do frequent tests, such as blood cell counts or a bone marrow examination, and adjust your dosage based on the results of these tests.
Purinethol treatment can sometimes cause high levels of uric acid, which may be treated with a medication known as allopurinol (Zyloprim®). People who are taking allopurinol will be treated with lower-than-normal doses of Purinethol. Lower amounts may also be used in people with kidney or liver disease.
People who have a certain inherited (genetic) condition known as thiopurine-S-methyltransferase (TPMT) deficiency are at a higher risk for Purinethol side effects. These people will need to be treated with lower doses.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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