Help
Subscribe


GastroHep.com - the global online resource for all aspects of gastroenterology, hepatology and endoscopy

 15 December 2017

Advanced search
GastroHep.com - the global online resource for all aspects of gastroenterology, hepatology and endoscopy Profile of Roy Pounder

Home

News
Journals
Review Articles
Slide Atlas
Video Clips
Online Books
Advanced Digestive Endoscopy
Classical Cases
Conference Diary
PubMed
International GH Links
USA GH Links
National GH Links
National GI Societies
Other Useful Links




Emails on Gastroenterology and Hepatology
the National AIDS Treatment Advocacy Project
Visit the gastroenterology section of the EUMS

Personal View

GastroenterologyInflammatory bowel disease

Crohn's disease

Click a heading in the right-hand column to see the selected articles in that subject area

See any comments for this Personal View

Roy Pounder It's mercaptopurine, not 6-mercaptopurine*
Roy Pounder, 07 July 2006
fiogf49gjkf0d

Everybody calls it 6-mercaptopurine, or 6-MP for short, but this is a dangerous error. The approved name for the immunosuppressive in Europe and the USA is mercaptopurine - that is, without the prefix 6-. And the same is true for tioguanine.

So what's the fuss about? Who cares? Well, it's all about safety.

I'll tell you case histories about 2 of my patients:

  • A highly intelligent man of 35 years, an office designer who plans the offices for massive buildings in the centre of London, has Crohn's disease. The time had come for him to start immunosuppression, so I prescribed 6-mercaptopurine 50mg, to be taken every morning. He was dispensed 28 tablets, with the label “6-mercaptopurine 50mg, take one every morning”. He misread the label, and he took 6 tablets every morning - but fortunately came to see me a week later, actually very angry because he'd run out of tablets after 4 days... only 4 left for the last 3 days! I stopped the tablets and he didn't develop toxicity.
  • A woman with Crohn's disease received a similar new prescription, 6-mercaptopurine 50mg, to be taken every morning. She took it to her local pharmacy, and the pharmacist dispensed six 50mg-tablets to be taken every morning. Again, we saw her, as is our routine, 7 days after starting her immunosuppression and I detected the potentially fatal error.

What needs to happen?

Prescriptions must be for mercaptopurine; all writing in terms of hospital notes, doctor's letters, and publications must stop using the 6- prefix; we should stop using 6-MP as our routine abbreviation.

It's all about safety.

This article was first published on GastroHep.com on 7 July 2006.

Go to top of page

YourComments

Go to top of page Email this page Email this page to a colleague

Open folder Gastroenterology
Close folder Hepatology
Biliary tract
Viral hepatitis
Liver diseases
Cirrhosis and portal hypertension
Liver transplantation
Liver & other diseases
Pediatric hepatology
Basic science
Close folder Endoscopy
Upper endoscopy
ERCP
Colonoscopy
Endoscopic ultrasound
Technology
Practice issues

Blackwell Publishing


GastroHep.com is a Blackwell Publishing registered trademark
© 2017 Wiley-Blackwell and GastroHep.com and contributors
Privacy Statement
Disclaimer
About Us