What should I know before taking a thiopurine?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Your doctor may order a test before starting treatment to check if you have a gene that can cause TPMT (thiopurine methyl transferase) deficiency. If you have taken mercaptopurine before without success, you should not take it again.

It is not known if azathioprine is safe or effective for children and teens under 18 years of age.

If you have impaired liver function, thiopurines may not be good options for you.

If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or may be pregnant, be aware that the health of your baby may be at risk if you take a thiopurine.

You should not take a thiopurine if you are breastfeeding.

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