Imuran vs. Humira

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

Scroll horizontally → to see comparisons



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.Calms down your immune system. Humira (Adalimumab) is very effective at calming down your immune system, but it's expensive, you have to take into account the hassle of injections and traveling with the medication.
How it works
Imuran (Azathioprine) is an immunosuppressant medication. It blocks the production of the white blood cells that kill unfamiliar cells.Humira (Adalimumab) is a biologic response modifier. It works in the immune system to block a protein called TNF (tumor necrosis factor). Blocking TNF relieves symptoms and prevents disease progression.
Type of medication
Biological response modifier
Kidney transplant anti-rejection
Purine antimetabolite
Prescription only
Biological response modifier
Prescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
Reviews for Humira (Adalimumab)
+59% vs. Imuran (Azathioprine)
+49% vs. Imuran (Azathioprine)
+49% vs. Imuran (Azathioprine)
Side effects

The Imuran FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Imuran side effects »
  • Injection site reactions 6%
  • Rash 6%
  • Positive titers 5%
  • Upper respiratory infection 4%
  • Headache 4%
  • Abdominal pain 3%
  • Urinary tract infection 3%
  • High blood pressure 2%
  • Alkaline phosphatase increased 2%
  • High blood lipid levels 2%
More Humira side effects »
Risk factors for serious side effects
        • Sexually active men and women
        • Pregnant women
        • Child-bearing women
        Detailed Imuran (Azathioprine) risks & warnings »
          • History of heart failure
          • Taking other immunosuppressant drugs
          • Age 60 or older
          • Taking other immunosuppressant drugs
          • History of malignancy
          • History of neurologic condition
            Detailed Humira (Adalimumab) risks & warnings »
            Pregnancy category
            DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

            Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

            See the FDA package insert
            BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

            Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

            See the FDA package insert
            • Drinking alcohol is okay while taking Imuran (Azathioprine).
            No specific alcohol-related info.
            No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
            Kidneys and liver
            No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
            • If you're sexually active, you and your partner should use birth control, since Imuran (Azathioprine) can cause birth defects.
            No specific sex-related info.
            No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
            No specific weight-related info.
            • Humira (Adalimumab) can increase your risk of serious or life-threatening bacterial, fungal and viral infections. In some cases infections can be reactivated from an inactive virus in your body like tuberculosis (TB) or hepatitis B virus (HBV). You may need to take medicine for TB before you can begin taking Humira (Adalimumab). If you develop symptoms of cough, fever, chills, muscle aches, feel very tired, or you notice dark urine, yellowing of skin/eyes, appetite/weight loss, vomiting, change in stool color, stomach discomfort, and skin rash, tell your doctor and get medical care right away.
            Upsides and benefits
            • 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.
            • Treats certain types of arthritis and gastrointestinal conditions caused by an overactive immune system.
            • Most people feel it's worth the hassle.
            • Once you've learned the correct way to use Humira, you can inject the medicine yourself without going to your doctor's office.
            • It's available in a single-use pen (Humira Pen) that may be more convenient and easier for some people to use.
            • It's an alternative for people with Crohn's disease who stopped getting better on other TNF-blockers or had side effects that made them switch.
            Downsides and risks
            • 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.
            • It's an injection.
            • It's expensive because there's no generic available yet.
            • Humira lowers your ability to fight infection and can cause serious life-threatening illness. The risk is greater if you take other drugs that lower your immune system, have an active infection, diabetes, or had tuberculosis (TB) in the past.
            • You're first dose of Humira will need to be given at your doctor's office. If you decide not to self-inject and don't have someone to do it for you, you'll need to continue to see your doctor for each dose.
            • You'll need to properly dispose of the needle, syringes, or Pen in a special (FDA-approved) sharps container.
            • Because it needs to be refrigerated until you use it, if you're traveling, you'll need to carry it in a cooler with an ice pack.
            Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
            • If you're sexually active, you and your partner should use birth control, since Imuran (Azathioprine) can cause birth defects.
            • If you take Imuran (Azathioprine) for rheumatoid arthritis, your joint damage can’t be reversed, so keep up with your physical therapy and get plenty of rest.
            • While taking Imuran (Azathioprine), your body is susceptible to infection; so be sure to wash your hands often and keep distance from with people who are sick.
            • It is typical to have some nausea when you first start taking Imuran (Azathioprine); if it's unbearable, let your doctor know.
            • Don't sun tan while taking this medication. Always use sunscreen and wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, hat, and sunglasses.
            • Humira (Adalimumab) is a medication that's injected under the skin (subcutaneous). Your doctor can give you your first dose, then let you self-inject it once so you learn how to do it correctly.
            • Humira (Adalimumab) lowers the your immune system's ability to fight infections, so it's important to let your doctor know if you come down with a fever, cough, or notice flu-like symptoms.
            • You'll need to have a TB test before you start using Humira (Adalimumab).
            • Tell your doctor if you have an allergy to latex since the syringe needle cover has latex in it.
            • Don't inject Humira (Adalimumab) into skin that's red, bruised, or irritated. Rotate your injection areas to avoid skin reactions.
            • As with all injection medicines, store away from children and throw used syringes away in a protective container, and not in the trash.
            Learn more
            More about ImuranSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
            More about HumiraSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert