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Azathioprine is used with other medications to prevent transplant rejection (attack of the transplanted organ by the immune system) in people who received kidney transplants. It is also used to treat severe rheumatoid arthritis (a condition in which the body attacks its own joints, causing pain, swelling, and loss of function) when other medications and treatments have not helped. Azathioprine is in a class of medications called immunosuppressants. It works by decreasing the activity of the body's immune system so it will not attack the transplanted organ or the joints.
Azathioprine comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once or twice a day after meals. Take azathioprine at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take azathioprine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If you are taking azathioprine to treat rheumatoid arthritis, your doctor may start you on a low dose and gradually increase your dose after 6-8 weeks and then not more than once every 4 weeks. Your doctor may gradually decrease your dose when your condition is controlled. If you are taking azathioprine to prevent kidney transplant rejection, your doctor may start you on a high dose and decrease your dose gradually as your body adjusts to the transplant.
Azathioprine controls rheumatoid arthritis but does not cure it. It may take up to 12 weeks before you feel the full benefit of azathioprine. Azathioprine prevents transplant rejection only as long as you are taking the medication. Continue to take azathioprine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking azathioprine without talking to your doctor.
Azathioprine is also used to treat ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking azathioprine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to azathioprine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in azathioprine tablets. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention the medications mentioned in the IMPORTANT WARNING section and any of the following: allopurinol (Zyloprim); aminosalicylates such as mesalamine (Apriso, Asacol, Pentasa, others), olsalazine (Dipentum), and sulfasalazine (Azulfidine); and anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have any type of infection, or if you have or have ever had kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You should use birth control to be sure you or your partner will not become pregnant while you are taking this medication. Call your doctor if you or your partner become pregnant while you are taking azathioprine. Azathioprine may harm the fetus.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking azathioprine.
- do not have any vaccinations during or after your treatment without talking to your doctor.
Food limitations and special diet when taking Azathioprine
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Possible side effects
Azathioprine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately.
- muscle pain
This medication may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking azathioprine.
Storage and disposal of Azathioprine
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- sore throat, fever, chills, and other signs of infection
Other important information
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
We provide only general information about Imuran which does not cover all possible drug integrations, directions or precautions. Information at our website cannot be used for self-treatment and self-diagnosis. Any specific instructions for a particular patient should be agreed with his health care adviser or doctor in charge of the case. We disclaim reliability of this information and mistakes it could contain. We are not responsible for any direct, indirect, special or other indirect damage as a result of any use of the information on this site and also for consequences of self-treatment.
Important Information about Purchasing ImuranIn some countries valid doctor's prescription is required to purchase Imuran. Our online pharmacy escrow service allows You to buy Imuran without a prescription as its not required in the country where this medicine is purchased and shipped from (India). We expect that You are familiar with the Imuran medication You want to buy online. You must know needed dosage that works for You, how to take this drug and all possible side effects.
We guarantee quality of Imuran - azathioprine medication that is sold through our site. Its medical effect will be the same as of brand name Imuran®.