Without a Prescription
Azathioprine is prescribed for the following purposes:
- Treat rheumatoid arthritis;
- An addition to prevent rejection in renal homotransplantations;
Azathioprine is prescribed to inhibit the immune response that causes rejection of kidney transplants.
Azathioprine is prescribed for the treatment of severe, active rheumatoid arthritis.
It is considered a "second-line," or "slow-acting" drug and is usually reserved for rheumatoid arthritis patients who do not respond to other first-line or second-line medications.
Azathioprine should also not be used if any of the following has occurred:
- The bottle or packaging has shown signs of tampering;
- The expiry date on the bottle has passed;
- The seal around the cap has been broken;
Symptoms of overdose of Azathioprine include the following:
- Mild abnormalities in liver function;
- Mild leucopoenia;
Very large amounts of Azathioprine may cause the following conditions:
- Marrow hypoplasia;
Azathioprine may have any of the following side effects or allergic reactions:
- Abdominal pain;
- Hepatic veno occlusive disease;
- Hypersensitivity pancreatitis;
- Leucopoenia and thrombocytopenia;
- Lymphoproliferative disease;
- Macrocytic anemia and bleeding;
- Malaise and myalgias;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Negative nitrogen balance;
- Skin rashes;
The most common serious side effects of Azathioprine involve the blood elements and gastrointestinal system.
Azathioprine can cause serious lowering of the white blood cell count, resulting in an increased risk of infections. This can reverse when the dose is reduced or temporarily discontinued.
Azathioprine can cause:
- Loss of appetite;
Azathioprine can also cause liver toxicity (in less than 1% of rheumatoid arthritis patients).
All patients taking Azathioprine require regular blood testing for blood
counts and liver function tests for monitoring.
Other side effects encountered less frequently include:
- Hair loss;
- Joint pains;
Azathioprine may react with the following drugs:
- Other Agents Affecting Myelopoesis;
- Angiotensln Converting Enzyme Inhibitors;
Tablets: 50 milligrams.