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03-01-2013, 03:01 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Purinethol Shortage?

Has anyone else recently had difficulty getting Purinethol? The Jewel/Osco pharmacy I normally go to told me that the manufacturer was not producing it anymore. I called my gastro's nurse and they told me they hadn't heard anything of it.

Next, I attempted calling a few different Walgreens in the area. All told me they were out/on back order.

I eventually went back to my original pharmacy today and an getting the generic which I don't think I've ever take. Thankfully seeing my gastro Monday morning so hopefully I can get some answers.

Has anyone else run into this issue recently?
03-01-2013, 07:07 PM   #2
Jennifer's Avatar
Well good thing you were able to get the generic. None of the other pharmacies carry Mercaptopurine (same thing as Purinethol/6MP)? I'm not taking 6MP anymore so I haven't heard about it not being produced anymore. My guess is that it was an issue with the company they use to deliver the meds. I had this issue with a different prescription in the past and had to switch pharmacies because there was no telling when they would get another shipment in.
Diagnosis: Crohn's in 1991 at age 9
Surgeries: 1 Small Bowel Resection in 1999; Central IV in 1991-92
Meds for CD: 6MP 50mg
Things I take: Tenormin 25mg (PVCs and Tachycardia), Junel, Tylenol 3, Omeprazole 20mg 2/day, Klonopin 1mg 2/day (anxiety), Restoril 15mg (insomnia), Claritin 20mg
Currently in: REMISSION Thought it was a flare but it's just scar tissue from my resection. Dealing with a stricture. Remission from my resection, 17 years and counting.
03-01-2013, 07:51 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: New Brunswick

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There was some discussion earlier about pharmacies only partially filling Imuran prescriptions as they were running short on pills. I've had this happen a few times but not lately, although the manufacturer of the generic Imuran has changed. The two generic brands here are APO and Teva.

Diagnosed since 1990
Current Medications: None currently. Was on Imuran (150mg/day) and 5-ASA (3000 mg/day) as maintenance meds prior to surgery
Surgeries: Left hemicolectomy 2014.
03-01-2013, 11:33 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Chicago, Illinois

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I did 2 weeks ago for 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) when I first started. I was told by numerous pharmacies that the stores were out of stock, the manufacturer was not producing and that they would not receive new stock of product until around March 11, 2013 hopefully.

Luckily a pharmacist called for me and found one pharmacy in a random HIV clinic (after trying a good number of places) that had some left and I ran over there to get the last of their supply. Hopefully they will all be in stock again by the time I need my refill
Crohn's-Colitis May 2012
Current Meds:
6-MP (100mg) / Asacol (4800mg)
Past Meds:
Prednisone/ Entocort / Flagyl
Current Supplements:
B12 Shot (1cc/mo) / Multivitamin / Vitamin D (1000iu) / Calcium (1200mg) / Omega 3 Fish Oil (4800mg)
Additional Info:
Anemia/Borderline Anemia - whole life
Generalized Anxiety Disorder - 2009 (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness meditation)

Last edited by CrohnsChicago; 03-22-2013 at 02:40 PM.
03-12-2013, 11:09 AM   #5
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So I needed a refill and called into walgreens today. They are STILL short. Each store has either no pills or only 25 pills.....still no word on when they will be supplied again.

I asked Walgreens for a list of their suppliers/manufacturers for mercaptopurine. They said they are Mylan, Roxanne & Teva.

I went to the American-Society of Health System Pharmacists and found the following information regarding the shortage:

Mercaptopurine Tablets

[01 March 2013]
Products Affected - Description

Mercaptopurine tablets, Mylan
50 mg, 25 count (NDC 00378-3547-52)
50 mg, 250 count (NDC 00378-3547-25)

Mercaptopurine tablets, Roxane
50 mg, 25 count (NDC 00054-4581-11)
50 mg 250 count (NDC 00054-4581-27)

Mercaptopurine tablets, Teva
50 mg, 60 count (NDC 00093-5510-06)

Purinethol tablets, Teva
50 mg, 60 count (NDC 57844-0522-06)
Reason for the Shortage

Mylan and Teva could not provide a reason for the shortage.
Roxane states the reason for the shortage is increased demand.

Available Products

Mercaptopurine tablets, Par
50 mg, 60 count (NDC 49884-0922-02)
50 mg, 250 count (NDC 49884-0922-04)
Estimated Resupply Dates

Mylan has mercaptopurine tablets on back order and the company estimates a release date in mid-March, 2013.

Roxane has mercaptopurine tablets on intermittent back order and the company is releasing supplies as they become available.

Teva has mercaptopurine and Purinethol tablets on back order and the company cannot estimate a release date.

Looks like no one has any answers.....I am calling my GI this week and seeing if there is an alternative he can put me on temporarily or permanently if I cannot get a complete refill before this issue is resolved (supposedly mid-march which is technically already here............)

Also interesting...the FDA does not list this medication on their list of drug shortages......
03-22-2013, 02:43 PM   #6
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Oh they are saying shipments will not be available at my local Walgreens around me until April 20th....

The HIV clinic managed to get their hands on a 3 month supply (I will have to see when I get home which manufacturer sent it to them) but the future of the supply is still very uncertain at the moment otherwise why does one place get them and another doesnt and they use the same manufacturers? Just doesn't make sense why they won't give any detailed explanations.
03-22-2013, 03:43 PM   #7
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

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I went three weeks ago and Walgreens was out, they didn't have another shipment coming in till March 11 and I was going to run out before then. I went to a CVS immediately and thankfully they had some. But I think I took about all they had left. We are going on vacation and so I called about my son's next refill and Walgreens said they had some but they would need to be filled by two different manufactures because they didn't have 30 pills from the manufacturer they usually use.

I know both pharmacists seemed a little concerned.

Let me know if you get any updates.
Mom of Johnny
Dx Oct 11 2011 Crohns disease
Prednisone done 12/30/11
6mp 50mg every day
Allopurinol 50mg -discontinued per new G.I. on 11/01/12
Multi Vitamin
Vitamin D3 1000mg
05-08-2013, 07:52 PM   #8
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Got a prescription filled today - no back order. Noticed that this one was manufactured by Teva, my last prescription was manufactured by Apotex.
05-08-2013, 10:09 PM   #9
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Location: Chicago, Illinois

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Yes, my pharmacies seem to be back in stock as well.

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