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Can J Gastroenterol. 2008 Feb;22(2):181-5.

Use of allopurinol with low-dose 6-mercaptopurine in inflammatory bowel disease to achieve optimal active metabolite levels: a review of four cases and the literature.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20037, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

At least one-third of patients with inflammatory bowel disease do not respond or are intolerant to therapy with 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP). A subgroup fails to attain optimal levels of 6-thioguanine nucleotide (6-TGN) and instead shunts to 6-methylmercaptopurine nucleotide (6-MMPN).

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

A retrospective chart review was conducted, and four patients are described who had been previously unable to achieve optimal 6-TGN metabolite levels until allopurinol was added to their treatment.

RESULTS:

All four patients achieved optimal 6-TGN levels and undetectable 6-MMPN with a mean 6-MP dose of 0.49 mg/kg. Three achieved steroid-free clinical remission. Two of those three patients had normalization of liver enzymes; one patient had baseline normal liver enzymes despite an initial 6-MMPN level of 27,369 pmol/8 x 10(8) red blood cells. Two patients experienced reversible leukopenia.

CONCLUSIONS:

Combination allopurinol and low-dose 6-MP is an effective means to achieve optimal metabolite levels and steroid-free clinical remission in previously refractory patients. Caution is advised.

PMID:
18299738
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2659140
Free PMC Article
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