Azathioprine: Uses, Dosage, Price, Side Effects, Precautions & More

What is Azathioprine?

Azathioprine is a medication that is used to suppress your immune system in the treatment of certain conditions.

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Uses of Azathioprine

  • To prevent organ rejection after a transplant
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation of joints
Also Read: Calciumgluconate Uses | Cefotaxime Uses

How Does Azathioprine Work?

Azathioprine works by suppressing the increase of white blood cells thereby lowering the power of your immune system. It lowers the defense system of your body so that there is no rejection of transplanted organs.

How to Take?

Azathioprine tablet must be swallowed as a whole with a glass of water. You must not chew, crush or break the tablet while taking it. If you are prescribed with injection form then your doctor or nurse should give you the injection directly into your blood vessels. Remember to take Azathioprine only on a full stomach.

Common Dosage Azathioprine?

Azathioprine is generally prescribed once or twice daily. Your doctor may alter your dosage and its frequency depending upon the severity of your condition.

Azathioprine Price In India

Specifics Azathioprine Price
50 mg Strip of 10 Tablets Rs 65.00
Also Read: Ceftazidime Price | Chloramphenicol Price | Supradyn Price

When to Avoid Azathioprine?

Avoid Azathioprine if:

  • You are allergic to any component of this drug
  • You have a kidney disorder
  • You have liver impairment
  • You have enzyme disorder

Side-Effects of Azathioprine

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fungal infection
  • Viral infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Low white blood cell count
  • Reduced blood platelet count
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Joint pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite

Effects of Azathioprine on Organs?

Long-term use of Azathioprine is not safe for the patients with kidney and liver disease. Your doctor may adjust your dose as per your requirement.

Are There Any Reported Allergic Reactions?

Some of the common allergic reactions reported with Azathioprine are hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Drug Interactions to Be Careful About

  • Allopurinol
  • Blood pressure lowering drugs
  • Warfarin

Effects/Results After Consuming Azathioprine

The effect of Azathioprine can be observed within 1 hour of administration. Your condition will start improving within 1 week of administration of this drug

Things to Know About Azathioprine


Is Azathioprine addictive?

Azathioprine doesn’t cause addiction.

Can I have Azathioprine with alcohol?

It is better to avoid alcohol when on Azathioprine. Consult your doctor about limiting alcohol with this medication. Co-consumption of alcohol with Azathioprine causes excessive sleepiness and drowsiness.

Any particular food item to be avoided?

You must consult your doctor regarding the foods to be avoided.

Can I have Azathioprine when pregnant?

In most cases, it is not safe to take Azathioprine if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Consult your doctor if it is absolutely necessary to take this medication.

Can I have Azathioprine when feeding a baby?

Azathioprine is known to pass in mother’s milk to baby. Consult your doctor if it is absolutely necessary to take this medication while you are breastfeeding.

Can I drive after taking Azathioprine?

It is generally safe to drive while taking Azathioprine. However, if you experience drowsiness, dizziness, a headache or any side effect that alters your consciousness then it may not be safe to drive.

What happens if I overdose on Azathioprine?

Overdose of Azathioprine will not improve your symptoms. It may even cause serious side-effects like stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Consult your doctor immediately in case of overdose.

What happens if I eat expired Azathioprine?

If by mistake you consume a dose of expired Azathioprine, the chances of harm are very less. It is advised to check the label for expiry date always before use.

What happens if I miss a dose of Azathioprine?

As soon as you remember, take the missed dose. However, if it is already time for next dose, carry on with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed dose.

Storage Requirements

  • Always store Azathioprine at a temperature around 25 degree Celsius
  • Storing in moisture-prone places like bathroom may damage the tablet
  • Place the injection in the refrigerator
  • Keep Azathioprine away from direct heat and sunlight
  • Store it where your children and pets can’t reach

Pro Tips When Taking Azathioprine

  • Do not try to self-adjust the dose. Take Azathioprine in the quantity prescribed by your doctor.
  • Do not share your medication with anyone even if they have a similar condition.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of Azathioprine if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy or if you are breastfeeding.
  • Avoid any type of vaccination while on this medication.
  • Avoid contact with people with bacterial or viral infections as you are more prone to get one while on Azathioprine.
Also read about other medicine's: Amphotericin B | Ampicillin | Artesunate
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