Leukemia Home > Purinethol Side Effects
If you are receiving chemotherapy treatment with Purinethol and develop unusual bruising, blood in the urine, or any signs of an infection, contact your healthcare provider right away. Dangerous problems such as these can occur during treatment with this drug, so it is important to know which reactions require immediate medical attention. Other possible side effects of Purinethol include hair loss, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Just like any medicine, Purinethol® (mercaptopurine) can cause side effects. In fact, most people will experience some type of reaction to this drug, and some side effects can be quite significant. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to prevent or lessen reactions to this medicine.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Purinethol. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
For many medications, the prescribing information carefully explains the exact percentage of side effects that were seen in clinical trials. However, the prescribing information for almost all older medications, including Purinethol, includes only vague information on possible side effects, with limited detail on how frequently the side effects occur. Therefore, it can be difficult to know exactly how common the side effects of such medications may be.
Based on available information, possible Purinethol side effects may include:
- Low white blood cells, which could increase the risk for infection (see Chemotherapy and Infections)
- Anemia, or low red blood cell counts (see Chemotherapy and Anemia)
- Low level of platelets, which could increase the risk for bleeding (see Blood Clotting Problems and Chemotherapy)
- Loss of appetite
- Skin rash
- Darkening of the skin
- High levels of uric acid in the blood or urine
- Hair loss
- Low sperm count.