Azathioprine is prescribed to prevent the rejection of new organs following a transplant operation. Sometimes the body tries to reject new donor tissue and azathioprine helps to prevent this rejection by suppressing the body's immune or defence system.
Azathioprine is prescribed in some auto-immune illnesses, such as rheumatoid arthritis, where the body has an overactive immune response against itself.
Azathioprine is prescribed for use as an adjunct in the prevention of rejection in renal homotransplantation.
Also for the management of severe, active rheumatoid arthritis unresponsive to rest, aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or to agents in the class of which gold is an example.
Azathioprine is contraindicated if you have any of the following conditions:
- If you know you have Lesch-Nyhan syndrome (a rare condition that runs in families);
- If you know you have a condition where your body produces too little of the chemical thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT);
- If you have liver or kidney problems;
- If you have ever suffered from chickenpox or shingles;
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this medicine a medicine called mercaptopurine or any other medicine;
- If you have an infection or have recently recovered from one;
- If you are taking other medicines including those available to buy without a script herbal or complementary medicines;
- If you are pregnant trying for a baby or breast-feeding;
Do not take Azathioprine with any of the following drugs:
The agent decreases the effect of the muscle relaxant:
Increases the effect of thiopurine:
Azathioprine side effects that you should report to your health care professional or doctor as soon as possible:
- Ahigh temperature or other sign of an infection;
- Any unexplained bruising or bleeding;
- Being sick;
- Increased risk of infection;
- Kidney problems such as a change in the amount or colour of your urine;
- Muscle pain or stiffness;
- Signs of an allergic reaction such as extreme tiredness;
- Skin rash;
Reported Azathioprine overdose symptoms are:
Other Brand Names
In some countries Azathioprine may also be known as: