(Imuran) -- Purine analog that decreases metabolism of
purines and also may inhibit DNA and RNA synthesis.
Reduces disability and symptoms of CIDP by suppressing
immune-mediated damage to nerves.|
Initial dose: 50 mg PO qd, increased gradually to total
daily dosage of 2-3 mg/kg/d PO
of azathioprine difficult to determine for each patient;
some evidence suggests that elevations of RBC volume
(MCV) indicate therapeutic dosing
response may take >6 mo to become apparent
Can lead to various GI symptoms and ulcer
formation with delayed healing (use with prophylactic
agent to prevent ulcers); can lead to severe leukopenia,
anemia, and thrombocytopenia (strictly monitor blood
counts: obtain CBC count before treatment, every 1-2 wk
for first few months, then monthly; in author's
practice, WBC count of 3000/mL
considered warning, requiring closer monitoring of WBC
counts and infection precautions; 2000/mL
considered sign to stop medication)
suppressant, places patients at risk for infections
enzymes because of risk of liver failure (same frequency as monitoring
of CBC count); caution should be used if new elevation of liver enzymes
up to twice normal level noted; if stopping drug brings liver enzymes
back to normal, drug can be tried again at later date, although with
special caution; an idiosyncratic reaction can occur within days of
initiation of treatment, including fever, jaundice, nausea and vomiting,
and elevation of hepatic enzymes
Discontinuation of drug usually
results in complete resolution of symptoms; restarting drug does not
always result in same reaction but should be considered carefully
Information specific to: Azathioprine 25mg tablets when
used in Hepatitis (autoimmune).
Azathioprine (A-zer-thigh-oh-preen) is a medicine which
is used in a number of conditions - an example is
The information in this Medicine Guide for Azathioprine
varies according to the condition being treated and the
particular preparation used.
Azathioprine is an immunosuppressive medicine. In the
treatment of auto-immune diseases, Azathioprine helps to
suppress over activity in the immune system. This helps
to reduce pain and swelling by limiting inflammation.
Azathioprine needs to be taken for a few weeks or months
before any improvement is noticed.
When used in people who have had organtransplants,
Azathioprine prevents the body's immune system from
rejecting donor organs.
Because of its effects on the immune system, people who
take Azathioprine are prone to getting infections. Your
prescriber will monitor you for infections and will tell
you about the signs of infection you should look out for
while you are take Azathioprine.
Other information about Azathioprine:
Azathioprine can make your skin more sensitive to
sunlight. While you are taking Azathioprine it is
recommended to use a sunscreen with a high
protection factor (SPF 15 or higher) and wear
protective clothing before you go out in the sun.
You must avoid sunlamps while taking Azathioprine
Do not share your medicine with other people. It may not
be suitable for them and may harm them.
The pharmacy label on your medicine tells you how much
medicine you should take. It also tells you how often
you should take your medicine. This is the dose that you
and your prescriber have agreed you should take. You
should not change the dose of your medicine unless you
are told to do so by your prescriber.
If you feel that the medicine is making you unwell or
you do not think it is working, then talk to your
Whether this medicine is suitable for you
Azathioprine is not suitable for everyone and some
people should never use it. Other people should only use
it with special care. It is important that the person
prescribing this medicine knows your full medical
Your prescriber may only prescribe this medicine with
special care or may not prescribe it at all if you:
are a man who is likely to father a child
are allergic or sensitive to or have had a bad
reaction to 6-mercaptopurine in the past
are allergic or sensitive to or have had a reaction
to any of the ingredients in the medicine
are having UV light therapy
are pregnant or are likely to become pregnant
have been exposed to chicken pox, herpes zoster or
have been vaccinated or are having vaccinations soon
have kidney problems
have Lesch–Nyhan syndrome
have liver problems
have or have had infections
have thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) deficiency
As part of the process of assessing suitability to take
this medicine a prescriber may also arrange tests:
to check that this medicine is not having any
Over time it is possible that Azathioprine can become
unsuitable for some people, or they may become
unsuitable for it. If at any time it appears that
Azathioprine has become unsuitable, it is important that
the prescriber is contacted immediately.
Alcohol can interact with certain medicines.
In the case of Azathioprine:Avoid
there are no known interactions between alcohol and
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some
cases, this may be harmful and your prescriber may
advise you to avoid certain foods.
In the case of Azathioprine:
there are no specific foods that you must exclude
from your diet when taking Azathioprine