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.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Imuran (azathioprine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Purinethol (mercaptopurine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ImuranMercaptopurine
  • Infections 20%
  • Leukopenia <2500 cells/mm3 16%
  • Leukopenia (any degree) 28%
  • Nausea and vomiting 12%
More 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
Prescription only
Available as
ImuranMercaptopurine
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
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

    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.

    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.

    Alcohol
    ImuranMercaptopurine
    • Drinking alcohol is okay while taking Imuran (Azathioprine).
    No alcohol 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 & ratingsFDA package insert
    Have you used Imuran (azathioprine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about MercaptopurineSide effectsFDA package insert
    Have you used Purinethol (mercaptopurine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it