Compare Imuran vs. mercaptopurine

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

Imuran
(Azathioprine)

Purinethol
(Mercaptopurine)

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.Coming soon.
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects
Imuranmercaptopurine

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

More about Imuran side effects »

We haven’t found good data for mercaptopurine side effects.

FDA side effect reports for mercaptopurine »
How it works
Imuranmercaptopurine
Imuran (Azathioprine) is an immunosuppressant medication. It blocks the production of the white blood cells that kill unfamiliar cells.Coming soon.
Type of medication
Imuranmercaptopurine
Immunosuppressant
Immunomodulator
Antirheumatic
Biological response modifier
Anti-rejection
Kidney transplant anti-rejection
Anticancer
Purine antimetabolite
Prescription only
Coming soon.
Available as
Imuranmercaptopurine
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
Imuranmercaptopurine
  • Acute lymphoid leukemia
Risk factors for serious side effects
Imuranmercaptopurine
        • Sexually active men and women
        • Pregnant women
        • Child-bearing women
        Detailed Imuran (Azathioprine) risks & warnings »
        Coming soon.
        Pregnancy category
        Imuranmercaptopurine
        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
        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
        Alcohol
        • Drinking alcohol is okay while taking Imuran (Azathioprine).
        No specific alcohol-related info.
        Food
        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.
        Sex
        • 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.
        Sleep
        No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
        Weight
        No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        Imuranmercaptopurine
        • 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.
        Coming soon.
        Downsides and risks
        Imuranmercaptopurine
        • 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.
        Coming soon.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        Imuranmercaptopurine
        • 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.
        Coming soon.
        Learn more
        More about ImuranSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about mercaptopurineSide effectsFDA package insert