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.

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.