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Definition of Mercaptopurine

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Mercaptopurine: A drug that acts as an antimetabolite, interfering with the metabolism of purine bases and inhibiting the synthesis of DNA and RNA.

Mercaptopurine is used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and polycythemia vera. It is also used in the treatment of Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and psoriatic arthritis.

Also known as 6-mercaptopurine, 6-MP, or MP.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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