Imuran

DRUG DESCRIPTION

IMURAN (azathioprine), an immunosuppressive antimetabolite, is available in tablet form for oral administration. Each scored tablet contains 50 mg azathioprine and the inactive ingredients lactose, magnesium stearate, potato starch, povidone, and stearic acid.

Azathioprine is chemically 6-[(1-methyl-4-nitro-1H-imidazol-5-yl)thio]-1H-purine. The structural formula of azathioprine is:

 IMURAN (azathioprine) Structural Formula Illustration

It is an imidazolyl derivative of 6-mercaptopurine and many of its biological effects are similar to those of the parent compound.

Azathioprine is insoluble in water, but may be dissolved with addition of one molar equivalent of alkali. Azathioprine is stable in solution at neutral or acid pH but hydrolysis to mercaptopurine occurs in excess sodium hydroxide (0.1N), especially on warming. Conversion to mercaptopurine also occurs in the presence of sulfhydryl compounds such as cysteine, glutathione, and hydroge sulfide.

What are the possible side effects of azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • fever, chills, sore throat, body aches, weakness, muscle pain, flu symptoms;
  • severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;
  • severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, fast heart rate;
  • ...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Imuran

What are the precautions when taking azathioprine (Imuran)?

Before taking azathioprine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it, or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, blood disorders, decreased bone marrow function, history of cancer (such as lymphoma), active infections, certain enzyme disorder (TPMT deficiency).

Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received polio vaccine by mouth or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.

Since this medication can increase...

Read All Potential Precautions of Imuran


Imuran Consumer (continued)

SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

You may experience stomach/intestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite. If these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor immediately. These symptoms may be reduced by taking the medication after meals. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about other dosing advice that may also help with these symptoms.

Although unlikely, more severe stomach/intestinal symptoms (e.g., severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, stomach/abdominal pain) may occur as part of a very serious allergic reaction. Seek immediate medical attention if you have severe stomach/intestinal symptoms or other symptoms of a serious allergic reaction which may include: fever, shaking chills, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing, cough, new or worsening joint/muscle aches, dark urine.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: weakness, muscle loss, vision changes, hair loss, cold/numbness in the fingers, mouth sores, difficult/painful swallowing, greasy stools.

Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: yellowing eyes/skin, swelling/extra fluid around the abdomen, vomit that contains blood or looks like coffee grounds, black stools.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

PRECAUTIONS: Before taking azathioprine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it, or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, blood disorders, decreased bone marrow function, history of cancer (such as lymphoma), active infections, certain enzyme disorder (TPMT deficiency).

Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor, and avoid contact with people who have recently received polio vaccine by mouth or flu vaccine inhaled through the nose.

Since this medication can increase your risk of developing serious infections, wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections. Avoid contact with people who have illnesses that may spread to others (e.g., flu, chickenpox).

Use caution with sharp objects like safety razors or nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports to lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured.

Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, the elderly may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug.

This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details. It is recommended that men and women use two effective forms of birth control (e.g., condoms, birth control pill) while taking this medication. However, this medication can decrease the effectiveness of intrauterine devices (IUDs). This can result in pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about other effective birth control choices.

This medication passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Therefore, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


Imuran Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Azasan, Imuran

Generic Name: azathioprine (Pronunciation: ay za THYE oh preen)

  • What is azathioprine (Imuran)?
  • What are the possible side effects of azathioprine (Imuran)?
  • What is the most important information I should know about azathioprine (Imuran)?
  • What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking azathioprine (Imuran)?
  • How should I take azathioprine (Imuran)?
  • What happens if I miss a dose (Imuran)?
  • What happens if I overdose (Imuran)?
  • What should I avoid while taking azathioprine (Imuran)?
  • What other drugs will affect azathioprine (Imuran)?
  • Where can I get more information?

What is azathioprine (Imuran)?

Azathioprine lowers your body's immune system. The immune system helps your body fight infections. The immune system can also fight or "reject" a transplanted organ such as a liver or kidney. This is because the immune system treats the new organ as an invader.

Azathioprine is used to prevent your body from rejecting a transplanted kidney. It is also used to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Azathioprine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of azathioprine (Imuran)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;
  • fever, chills, sore throat, body aches, weakness, muscle pain, flu symptoms;
  • severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea;
  • severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, fast heart rate;
  • pain or burning with urination;
  • stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite;
  • hair loss; or
  • skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about azathioprine (Imuran)?

Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are pregnant. It could cause harm to the unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Taking azathioprine may increase your risk of developing cancer. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.

Azathioprine can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your kidney function may also to need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Call your doctor at once if you have a fever, chills, sore throat, body aches, weakness, muscle pain, easy bruising or bleeding, mouth sores, pale stools, darkened urine, or severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using azathioprine. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

This medication can affect fertility (your ability to have children), whether you are a man or a woman. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about this.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with azathioprine and avoid coming into contact with anyone who has recently received a live vaccine. There is a chance that the virus could be passed on to you.

Related Drug Centers
  • Imuran
  • Azasan


Related Drugs Index: