IBD Medication Guide

Mercaptopurine (6-MP)

Mercaptopurine (6-MP)

Brand Name(s)


Drug Class


How taken


Used for

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease

Recommendations for Pregnancy

Data in IBD transplant literature suggest low risk

Recommendations for Lactation

Limited human data: probably compatible

Medication indication

NOTE: This medication has been typically used for the treatment of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Talk to your doctor about potential risks and side effects.

Indicated for pediatric use

NOTE: This medication may be recommended for pediatric use. Be sure to talk to your doctor about potential risks and side effects.

Most common side effects

Headache, weakness, or achiness; darkening of the skin; loss of appetite or weight


Periodic blood work is necessary when taking mercaptopurine to monitor the liver and blood counts. Infection, a small risk of lymphoma, and a small risk of pancreatitis have been noted.

Learn more about immunomodulators

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