|Type of medicine||An antimetabolite anti-cancer medicine|
|Used for||Treatment of leukaemia|
|Available as||Tablets and oral liquid medicine|
Leukaemia is a cancer of cells in the bone marrow. The cancerous cells in the bone marrow spill out into the bloodstream. Most types of leukaemia arise from cells which normally develop into white blood cells. There are several different types of leukaemia and treatments for the different types vary. Mercaptopurine is a treatment used for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), and chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML).
In cancers like leukaemia, certain cells in the body grow and multiply too fast. Anti-cancer medicines like mercaptopurine work by stopping the growth of the cancer cells. They do this by affecting the genetic material of the cells. This reduces the number of new cells that your body makes.