Pronunciation: (ay' za thye' oh preen)
Trade Name(s): Azathine, Azimune, Azoprin, Azoran, Imuran, Imuzat, Zymurine
Why it is prescribed: Azathioprine is used with other drugs to prevent rejection of kidney transplants. It also is used to treat severe rheumatoid arthritis.
When it is to be taken: Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor to explain any part that you do not understand. If you are to take azathioprine once a day, take it at the same time that you do something else each day, such as brushing your teeth in the morning, to help your remember it. Your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may not improve until you have taken azathioprine for six to eight weeks.
How it should be taken: Azathioprine comes in the form of tablets. Your prescription label tells you how much to take at each dose.
1. Your doctor will want to monitor the way your body responds to this medication. Therefore, keep all appointments for checkups and blood tests. Tell your doctor about other therapy you have received, including X-rays and drugs.
2. If you forget to take a dose, ask your doctor what you should do. Write these instructions down so that you can refer to them later. If you miss more than one dose, contact your doctor.
1. Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. Take this medication after meals. If these effects persist, contact your doctor.
2. Loss of hair, joint pains, changes in vision, cold hands and feet. Contact your doctor.
3. Sore throat, fever, chills, mouth sores, unusual bleeding or bruising, blood in urine, bloody or dark tarry stools, yellow discoloration of the skin or eyes, skin rash, shortness of breath.
Contact your doctor immediately.
1. Before you take azathioprine, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you have liver or kidney disease.
2. Before you take this drug, tell your doctor what prescription and nonprescription drugs you are taking, especially allopurinol (Zyloprim).
3. Do not allow anyone else to take this medication.
Storage Conditions: Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store it at room temperature, away from light and excess heat.