Medicines information

The information in this section describes medicines, how they are given and some of their possible side effects.

If you have any questions or concerns about medications, please ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Medicines search

Search for information on medicines at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Allopurinol

Allopurinol is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor medicine used to prevent build-up of uric crystals in the body. This build up can be caused by some illnesses or as a side effect of certain medicines.This page from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) explains what allopurinol is, how it is given and some of the possible side effects. Each person reacts differently to medicines, so your child will not necessarily suffer from every side effect mentioned. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Busulfan

Busulfan is a chemotherapy medicine used before bone marrow transplant or high dose therapy with stem cell rescue to help treat certain types of cancer and metabolic conditions.This page explains what busulfan is, how it is given and some of the possible side effects. Each person reacts differently to medicines, so your child will not necessarily suffer from every side effect mentioned. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Short-term steroid treatment

Our adrenal and reproductive glands naturally produce hormonal substances called steroids. There are many types of steroids and all have different effects on the body.

Common types of steroids used are: prednisolone, budesonide, hydrocortisone, dexamethasone, fludrocortisone and, occasionally, methylprednisolone. These steroids are known as corticosteroids. They are different to the anabolic (performance-enhancing) steroids.

Types of medicines

Most medicines come in a variety of types or formats. Be aware, though, that some medicines (particularly rare or unusual ones) only come in one type. Also, some may be more effective in one type than another.

Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin is a retinoid, which is a type of Vitamin A. It is commonly used for the treatment of severe acne. Retinoids are thought to influence the way in which cells grow and develop, and prevent the production of specific genes that may cause cancer.This page from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) explains what isotretinoin is, how it is given and some of the possible side effects. 

Intrathecal methotrexate

Methotrexate is a chemotherapy drug that is used to treat certain types of cancer and leukaemia. When given intrathecally, it prevents leukaemia cells entering the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) around the spine and brain. It is also used to treat leukaemia found in the CSF. This page from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) describes intrathecal methotrexate, how it is given and some of the possible side effects.