The European Commission has approved a revised formulation of Xaluprine (mercaptopurine oral suspension) which no longer contains the preservative propyl parabens.
The new formulation of the drug – used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukaemia – is also free from artificial colours, artificial flavouring and sugar and so is particularly child-friendly.
Xaluprine was developed by pharmaceutical manufacturer Nova laboratories and distribution to European pharmacies began in July.
The revised formulation will be supplied from January 2013.
Mercaptopurine has been available as a tablet for many years, but because the dose has to be adjusted according to body surface area, it has always been extremely difficult for parents or carers to administer the correct dose to young children.
Xaluprine offers more consistent absorption and allows doses to be accurately individualised to the child’s needs – right down to 2mg doses, whereas the originator tablet is 50mg.
It is also easier for patients to swallow and the natural raspberry flavour ensures good palatability, says Nova.