Purixan Side Effects Center

Last updated on RxList: 4/26/2022
Purixan Side Effects Center

What Is Purixan?

Purixan (mercaptopurine) Oral Suspension is a nucleoside metabolic inhibitor used to treat patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia as part of a combination regimen.

What Are Side Effects of Purixan?

Common side effects of Purixan include:

Dosage for Purixan

The starting dose of Purixan in multi-agent combination chemotherapy maintenance regimens is 1.5 to 2.5mg/kg (50 to 75 mg/m²) as a single daily dose.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Purixan?

Purixan may interact with allopurinol, warfarin, other drugs whose primary or secondary toxicity is myelosuppression, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, and aminosalicylate derivatives (e.g., olsalazine, mesalamine, or sulfasalazine). Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Purixan During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Purixan is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may cause spontaneous abortion and stillbirth. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Additional Information

Our Purixan (mercaptopurine) Oral Suspension Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


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Purixan Consumer Information

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Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • low blood cell counts--fever, chills, tiredness, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath;
  • liver problems--loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, upper stomach pain, swelling in your midsection, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • symptoms of lymphoma--fever, night sweats, tiredness, stomach bloating, feeling full, weight loss.

Common side effects may include:

  • low blood cell counts;
  • bruising or bleeding;
  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
  • diarrhea;
  • rash, changes in skin color;
  • hair loss; or
  • general ill feeling.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Purixan (Mercaptopurine Oral Suspension)


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Purixan Professional Information


The following clinically significant adverse reactions are described elsewhere in the labeling:

  • Myelosuppression [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Hepatotoxicity [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Immunosuppression [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Treatment Related Malignancies [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Macrophage Activation Syndrome [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Based on multicenter cooperative group ALL trials, the most common adverse reaction occurring in > 20% of patients was myelosuppression, including anemia, neutropenia, lymphopenia and thrombocytopenia. Adverse reactions occurring in 5% to 20 % of patients included anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, malaise, and rash. Adverse reactions occurring in < 5 % of patients included urticaria, hyperuricemia, oral lesions, elevated transaminases, hyperbilirubinemia, hyperpigmentation, infections, and pancreatitis. Oral lesions resemble thrush rather than antifolic ulcerations. Delayed or late toxicities include hepatic fibrosis, hyperbilirubinemia, alopecia, pulmonary fibrosis, oligospermia and secondary malignancies [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Drug fever has been reported with PURIXAN.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of PURIXAN. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. These reactions include: photosensitivity, hypoglycemia, and portal hypertension.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Purixan (Mercaptopurine Oral Suspension)

© Purixan Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Purixan Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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