Compare Imuran vs. Asacol

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Imuran (Azathioprine)

Prescription only

Lialda (Mesalamine)

Prescription only
Prevents organ rejection and relieves joint pain and inflammation.

Imuran (Azathioprine) is an effective medication for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and transplant rejection, but comes with a heavy list of side effects.

Treats inflammatory bowel disease.

Lialda (Mesalamine) is an effective first-line medicine for inflammatory bowel disease. There isn't a generic version and you'll have to take it multiple times a day.

Upsides
  • Imuran (Azathioprine) has proven to be effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Imuran (Azathioprine) decreases the pain, stiffness, and swelling that most people have with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • You can still get vaccinated for the flu while taking Imuran (Azathioprine).
  • Drinking alcohol is okay while taking Imuran (Azathioprine).
  • Most side effects are temporary.
  • Effective first-line medication for treating and lowering the symptoms of mild inflammatory bowel disease.
  • About half the people who have mild to moderate colon inflammation and take Lialda (Mesalamine) will see improvement.
  • Available in tablets, capsules, enemas, and suppositories.
  • Certain forms of Lialda (Mesalamine) can be used during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you're pregnant, or plan on becoming pregnant, and you want to take Lialda (Mesalamine).
Downsides
  • If you take Imuran (Azathioprine) for rheumatoid arthritis, you'll likely need to take additional medications to control your symptoms.
  • While taking Imuran (Azathioprine), you will have to get your blood tested once a week for the first month, every other week for the second and third month, and once every month after that.
  • Along with other side effects, your hair may begin to change color or fall out when you first start taking Imuran (Azathioprine), but this is usually temporary.
  • You'll likely have to take additional medications, like methotrexate to keep your rheumatoid arthritis in remission.
  • No generic versions are available for the tablets, capsules, and suppositories (meaning it could be somewhat expensive).
  • Doesn't work well for severe colon inflammation.
  • You may need to take Lialda (Mesalamine) three or four times a day.
  • Not a good option if you have kidney disease.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Enema
  • Suppository
Price
Lowest price near you
$26.85
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Lowest price near you
$206
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Reviews
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Side effects
2possible side effects
  • Infections
    20%
  • Leukopenia <2500 cells/mm3
    16%
See more detailed side effects
10possible side effects
  • Headache
    35%
  • Abdominal pain
    18%
  • Eructation
    16%
  • Pain
    14%
  • Nausea
    13%
  • Pharyngitis
    11%
  • Dizziness
    8%
  • Asthenia
    7%
  • Diarrhea
    7%
  • Back pain
    7%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and warnings
  • Harm to fetus

    Sexually active men and women

    ...and 2 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Serious allergic reactions

    Asthma

    ...and 4 more risk factors

  • Serious allergic reactions

    Phenylketonuria (PKU)

  • Worsening kidney or liver function

    Kidney problems

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Blood disorders

    Age 65 or older

  • Liver toxicity

    Liver problems

  • Worsening of colitis

    Taking Lialda (Mesalamine) at the start of treatment

See more detailed risks and warnings