Azathioprine is used for the treatment of severe rheumatoid arthritis. It is in a class of medications called immunosuppressant and It works by weakening the body’s immune system so it will not attack the transplanted organ or the joints. It is used with other medications to prevent rejection of kidney transplants. Azathioprine is also used to treat ulcerative colitis.

How should this medicine be taken?

Azathioprine is available in the form of tablet. It is usually taken once or twice a day after meals. The dosage depends upon the treatment:

  • If you are taking azathioprine to treat rheumatoid arthritis, your doctor may start you on a low dose and gradually increase your dose.
  • 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.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking azathioprine:

  • Inform your doctor incase if you have any type of infection, or if you have or have ever had kidney, liver, or pancreas disease.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.
  • If you are having any kind of surgery then do inform your doctor.
  • Do not have any vaccinations during or after your treatment without consulting with your doctor.
  • Keep in mind that azathioprine may decrease your ability to fight infection so stay away from people who are sick, and wash your hands often.

Side effects

  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches
  • Mouth sores
  • Cough
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Rash
  • Blurred vision
  • Stomach pain

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Information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of advice from your practitioner