Azathioprine (By mouth)
Antirheumatic, Cytotoxic, Gastrointestinal Agent (About this – PubMed Health)
Uses of This Medicine
Azathioprine is used to prevent rejection of a transplanted kidney. It belongs to the group of medicines known as immunosuppressive agents. Azathioprine will lower the body’s natural immunity in patients who receive transplants to prevent rejection of the new kidney. It is also used to relieve joint pain and swelling for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
This medicine is available only with your doctor’s prescription.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, azathioprine is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:
Liver transplant rejection.
Pancreas transplant rejection.
Other uses (PubMed Health)
How To Use
Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Some foods and medicines can affect how azathioprine works. Tell your doctor if you are using allopurinol, cotrimoxazole, mercaptopurine, mesalamine, olsalazine, ribavirin, sulfasalazine, a blood thinner (such as warfarin), or certain blood pressure medicines (ACE inhibitors).
When Not To Use
This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to azathioprine, or if you are pregnant.
It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, Crohn disease or bowel problems, blood or bone marrow problems (such as anemia, low white blood cells, or low platelets in the blood), or any type of infection.
This medicine may cause the following problems:Higher risk of skin cancer or lymphoma Higher risk of infection, including progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) Serious intestinal allergic reactions
This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 when you are outdoors. Wear protective clothing and hats, and stay out of direct sunlight between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Possible side effects
Summary More details
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
Lightheadedness or fainting
Sores on the skin
Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
Joint or muscle pain
Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More side effects of this drug
Brand names include
There may be other brand names for this medicine.