What is azathioprine and what it is used for:
Azathioprine is a medication used in order to treat immune and inflammatory diseases such as:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- hepatitis (inflamed liver)
- systemic lupus erythematosus (a disease which affects skin and major organs)
- blood disorders such as thrombocytopenia
- haemolytic anaemia (decreased red blood cells)
- pemphigus (blisters and sores on the skin)
- dermatomyositis (inflammation of the muscles and skin)
- polyarteritis nodosa (inflammation of the blood vessels)
Azathioprine is also useful in order to prevent the rejection of the transplanted organs and to treat inflammatory bowel disease.
Dosage: Azathioprine should be consumed by mouth in 25mg or 50mg tablets which should be gulped whole. The dose will directly depend on your particular immune or inflammatory condition, and is adjusted depending on your body weight. It is usually initiated at 50mg to 100mg per day. The dose can be increased every one to two months. The maximum recommended dose should be up to the 250mg daily. Azathioprine should be consumed about once or twice in a day.
Treatment Reactions: The most commonly reported azathioprine side effects are as follows:
- Itching or hives
- swelling in your face or hands
- swelling or tingling in mouth
- chest tightness
- trouble breathing
- dark-colored urine
- sore throat
- body aches
- muscle pain
- severe stomach pain
- unusual bleeding
- whites of eyes
Warning & Precautions
- Using this medication while you are pregnant may harm your unborn child.
- Patient must be instructed to use an effective birth control.
- If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your very next dose, wait until then to use the medication and skip the missed dose.
- Avoid the use of extra medication to make up for a forgotten or missed dose.
- Check with your healthcare provider if you miss multiple doses.
- Make sure that your healthcare provider knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, kidney disease, or any type of infection.
- Patients should avoid the use of this medication if they are also consuming mercaptopurine.
- Your healthcare provider will required to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure in order to keep all the appointments.
- This medication lowers the number of some types of blood cells in the body. Because of this, patient may get infections more easily. So patients should avoid being near the people who are sick or have infections.