Compare mercaptopurine vs. Sulfasalazine

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Purinethol
(Mercaptopurine)

Azulfidine
(Sulfasalazine)

Coming soon.Reduces inflammation. Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) is used for moderate to severe inflammatory bowel conditions, and with other meds for treating rheumatoid arthritis.
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects
mercaptopurineSulfasalazine

We haven’t found good data for mercaptopurine side effects.

FDA side effect reports for mercaptopurine »

We haven’t found good data for Sulfasalazine side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Sulfasalazine »
How it works
mercaptopurineSulfasalazine
Coming soon.Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) is an anti-inflammatory drug that reduces inflammation and pain. It treats inflammatory bowel diseases and rheumatoid arthritis.
Type of medication
mercaptopurineSulfasalazine
Coming soon.
Immunosuppressant
Immunomodulator
Antirheumatic
Biological response modifier
Prescription only
Available as
mercaptopurineSulfasalazine
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
Used for (click to learn more)
mercaptopurineSulfasalazine
  • Acute lymphoid leukemia
Risk factors for serious side effects
mercaptopurineSulfasalazine
Coming soon.
          Detailed Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          mercaptopurineSulfasalazine
          DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

          Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

          See the FDA package insert
          BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

          Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

          See the FDA package insert
          Alcohol
          No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
          Food
          No specific food-related info.
          • Swallow tablets whole, and take after a meal with a full glass of water.
          Kidneys and liver
          No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
          • Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) isn't a good option if you have kidney or liver disease.
          • Complete blood counts should be done before starting Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) and every other week during the first three months of treatment. Since kidney damage can occur, you'll need a urinalysis and an assessment of your kidney function periodically during treatment.
          • Severe hypersensitivity reactions can include internal organ involvement, such as hepatitis (liver), nephritis (kidney), myocarditis (heart), blood abnormalities, or pneumonitis (lungs).
          Sex
          No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
          Sleep
          No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
          Weight
          No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          mercaptopurineSulfasalazine
          Coming soon.
          • When taken consistently, Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) can control your symptoms of ulcerative colitis and other bowel diseases.
          • Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) is usually used in combination with other medications to control rheumatoid arthritis.
          Downsides and risks
          mercaptopurineSulfasalazine
          Coming soon.
          • You need to have blood tests every 3 months when taking Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine).
          • Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) isn't a good option if you have kidney or liver disease.
          • Can't take Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) if you are allergic to aspirin or sulfa medications.
          • Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) shouldn't be used if you are breastfeeding.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          mercaptopurineSulfasalazine
          Coming soon.
          • Don't use if you are allergic to sulfa drugs or aspirin.
          • Swallow tablets whole, and take after a meal with a full glass of water.
          • Drink at least six glasses of water daily while on this.
          • Continue to take Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine) even once you feel better.
          • Read the information that come with your medication in the drugstore since there are many conditions you should be aware of before taking Azulfidine (Sulfasalazine).
          • Can cause an orange color in your urine or skin.
          Learn more
          More about mercaptopurineSide effectsFDA package insert
          More about SulfasalazineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert