Generic name: azathioprine
The brand name is Azasan, Imuran
Dosage formats: oral tablet (100 mg, 50 mg, 75 mg)
Class of drugs: Antirheumatics, Other immunosuppressants
What is Azathioprine?
Azathioprine reduces the immune system in order to prevent the body in the process of “rejecting” transplanted organ-like kidneys. Organ rejection occurs when the immune system perceives the organ transplant as an intruder and begins to attack it.
Azathioprine helps stop the body’s rejection of the kidney transplanted. Azathioprine can also be used to treat the symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis.
This medication can also be used for reasons not mentioned in this guideline.¶
This medication could cause a rare form of lymphoma (cancer) of the spleen, liver and bone marrow, which can cause death. This has occurred predominantly in young men who have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Before taking this medication, you must consult your physician
Do not take azathioprine in the event that you are sensitive to azathioprine.
It is not recommended to use azathioprine for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in the event that you are expecting. This medicine can harm a newborn baby. Utilize effective contraception to avoid pregnancy while taking this medicine.
This medication could cause a rare form of lymphoma (cancer) of the liver, spleen and bone marrow which could cause death. This has occurred predominantly in adolescents and young men suffering from Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis. However, people who suffer from an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation is at the chance of developing lymphoma. Discuss with your physician regarding your risk.
If you are taking this medication, it is possible that you could be at a greater chance to develop skin cancer. Talk to your doctor about any signs of skin cancer to look out for.
Speak to your doctor if have ever suffered from:
- kidney disease or an organ transplant (if you’re taking azathioprine to treat rheumatoid arthritis);
- any kind of virus or fungal disease;
- Liver disease Or
- chemotherapy that includes medications like Cyclophosphamide, chlorambucil busulfan, melphalan, and others.
It is not recommended to breastfeed when you take Azathioprine.
How to take this medication?
Your doctor will run blood tests to ensure there are no issues that could make it unsafe to use Azathioprine.
Follow the directions on the prescription label and make sure you read the medication guide or instructions sheets. Your doctor may alter your dosage. Make sure you take the medicine exactly as prescribed.
When it is given to patients for kidney transplants, azathioprine is typically taken prior to and on the day of the transplant. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the medication is administered every day.
It can take as long as 8 weeks before symptoms begin to improve. Use azathioprine in the manner prescribed and inform your physician in the event that your symptoms haven’t been improved in the 12 months following usage.
Take it with food if you notice that Azthioprine causes stomach upset.
You might not be able to take other arthritis medicines in conjunction with Azathioprine. Don’t alter your dosage or schedule of dosing without consulting your physician.
This medication can affect the immune system. It can cause infections more often, including severe or fatal infections. Your doctor should test you regularly.
Keep the bottle at room temperature, far from heat, moisture and light. Make sure the bottle is tightly sealed when not being used.
If I don’t take the dose?
You should take the medication as quickly as you are able, but avoid any missed doses if it’s nearing the time to take the next dose. Don’t take two doses at a time.
If I consume too much?
For medical emergencies, seek emergency medical attention or contact toll-free the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I be aware of when taking Azathioprine?
Avoid tanning beds or sunlight. Azathioprine increases the risk to develop skin cancer. Wear protective clothing and apply sunscreen (SPF 30 or greater) while you’re outside.
Avoid being around those with illnesses or suffering from infections. Contact your doctor right away in the event that you show symptoms of an infection.
Do not get any “live” vaccine while using Azathioprine. The vaccine might not function in the same way and might not be able to fully protect you against diseases. Live vaccinations cover measles-rubella, mumps (MMR) as well as polio, Typhoid, rotavirus fever and varicella (chickenpox) and Zoster ( shingles).
Azathioprine adverse effects
See a doctor immediately If you are experiencing symptoms that indicate an allergy, such as Hives and breathing problems or swelling of your lips, face and tongue.
This medication could cause a serious brain infection which could cause disability or even death. Consult your doctor immediately in case you are experiencing issues with your speech, thoughts or vision or movement. The symptoms can begin slowly and then get worse.
Stop taking azathioprine, and consult your physician right now if you notice any of the following symptoms from lymphoma:
- swelling of glands and body aches the night sweats unwellness, fever;
- white skin and rash. It is easy to break or bleeding
- hands and feet that feel lightheaded and short-of-breath.
- abdominal pain that could be transferred to your shoulder or
- feeling fuller after eating just one or two bites, weight loss.
Contact your doctor at any time if you suffer from:
- indications of signs of (fever chills, weakness, fever symptoms of flu, sore throat symptoms of infection (cough, fever, pain, burning sensations when you urinate);
- severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;
- simple bleeding, unusual bruising;
- rapid heartbeats, rapid breathing;
- pale skin or feet that are cold and dry pale skin, cold hands and feet
- Dark blood, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin).
Common side effects can be:
- nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, chest pain
- hair loss; or
- skin the rash.
This isn’t a complete list of possible side effects, and other side effects could occur. Contact your doctor for advice regarding medical effects. You can report any symptoms to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other medications can alter the effects of Azathioprine?
Inform your doctor about the medicines you are currently taking. There are many drugs that can affect Azthioprine, including:
- febuxostat; or
This list isn’t complete and a variety of other medications could influence the azathioprine. This includes over-the-counter and prescription medicine, vitamins, and herbal products. There are many possible interactions between drugs. are included here.
Be sure to keep this medication and other medications out of reach of children. Do not let your medications be shared with anyone else and take this medication only in the manner prescribed by your doctor.