Azathioprine

Print

Brand Name: Imuran

Why is this medicine prescribed?
Azathioprine is an immunosuppressant which decreases the body’s natural immunity. It is used to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in patients who are unresponsive to other treatments.

How should this medicine be used?
Azathioprine is in tablet form and to be taken orally. Take this medication exactly as directed, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain anything you do not understand. Do not change the dose or frequency prescribed by your doctor .

What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking this medication, talk to your doctor and pharmacist about:

Allergies Pregnancy/Breastfeeding
  • if you are allergic to azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine
    (Purinethol) or any other drugs
  • Azathioprine may harm the fetus. If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding, call your doctor
Other medications Medical conditions
  • prescription and non-prescription medications (including vitamins and herbal products) may interact with azathioprine
  • consult before receiving any vaccinations
  • any current or past medical conditions, such as kidney or liver disease, or pancreatitis.
  • before any surgery, including dental surgery


What should I do if I forget to take a dose?

If you miss a dose, do not double up the next dose. Continue with your regular dosing schedule and check with your doctor.

What side effects can this medicine cause?
Although side effects from azathioprine are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if these symptoms are severe or persist:

  • loss of appetite
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea


Contact your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following occur:

  • sore throat
  • skin rash
  • fever
  • chills
  • mouth sores
  • blood in urine
  • bloody or dark, tarry stools
  • tiredness or weakness
  • fast heartbeat
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • shortness of breath
  • yellowing of the skin & eyes
  • vision changes


Your doctor will monitor you regularly for blood and liver problems. You will need to have blood tests done periodically as long as you are receiving azathioprine. Check with your doctor for instructions regarding testing frequency.

What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store the tablets at room temperature and away from excess heat, light and moisture (not in the bathroom). Dispose properly of any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your response to azathioprine.

Do not start taking this medication if you are planning to become pregnant, if you are currently pregnant or if you are breastfeeding. Use of adequate birth control while taking this medication is recommended in many cases. Please discuss this with your doctor.

This medication will temporarily suppress you immune system, so be sure to take appropriate precautions such as:

  • washing you hands before eating and after using the washroom
  • avoiding people with infections (as much as possible)
  • maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle
  • practice good oral hygiene (ask you dental hygienist for tips)
  • before any surgery, including dental surgery, inform the surgeon that your are taking this medication
WE INVITE YOU TO PARTNER WITH US TODAY
Donate to the Zane Cohen Centre
Zane Cohen Centre for Digestive Diseases, Mount Sinai Hospital, Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Health Complex. Copyright © 1997 - 2014.
All Rights Reserved. A patient care, teaching and research centre affiliated with University of Toronto.
Powered by Joomla 1.7 Templates