Medical Definition of Antimetabolite

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Antimetabolite: A drug that is similar enough to a natural chemical to participate in a normal biochemical reaction in cells but different enough to interfere with the normal division and functions of cells. So named because the drug inhibits a normal metabolic process. Examples of antimetabolites include 6-mercaptopurine (6MP), methotrexate, and hydroxyurea.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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