Compare Imuran vs. Remicade

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

Imuran
(Azathioprine)

Remicade
(infliximab)

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. Remicade (infliximab) is an effective treatment for many autoimmune diseases, but you can have serious side effects.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Imuran (Azathioprine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Remicade
76%
-51% worse vs. Imuran
62%
-37% worse vs. Imuran
15%
-35% worse vs. Imuran
Have you used Remicade (infliximab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ImuranRemicade
  • Leukopenia <2500 cells/mm3 16%
  • Infections 20%
  • Nausea and vomiting 12%
  • Leukopenia (any degree) 28%
More Imuran side effects »
  • Yeast infectionn 2%
  • Itchiness 5%
  • Fever 3%
  • High blood pressure 2%
  • Pain 1%
  • Joint pain 1%
  • Urinary tract infection 2%
  • Fatigue 2%
  • Indigestion 3%
  • Bronchitis 1%
More Remicade side effects »
How it works
ImuranRemicade
Imuran (Azathioprine) is an immunosuppressant medication. It blocks the production of the white blood cells that kill unfamiliar cells.Remicade (infliximab) blocks a protein in your immune system called TNF (tumor necrosis factor) that causes inflammation.
Type of medication
ImuranRemicade
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyNo lower cost generic available
Available as
ImuranRemicade
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for
ImuranRemicade
Risk factors for serious side effects
ImuranRemicade
  • Sexually active men and women
  • Pregnant women
  • Child-bearing women
Detailed Imuran (Azathioprine) risks & warnings »
  • Taking other immunosuppressant drugs
  • Age 65 or older
  • Comorbidities
  • History of malignancy
Detailed Remicade (infliximab) risks & warnings »
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.

Alcohol
ImuranRemicade
  • Drinking alcohol is okay while taking Imuran (Azathioprine).
No alcohol related info.
Weight
ImuranRemicade
No weight related info.
  • Although rare, Remicade (infliximab) can hurt your liver. If you have appetite/weight loss, stomach discomfort, vomiting, or dark urine, talk to your doctor. If you have yellowing of skin/eyes, talk to your doctor right away.
Upsides and benefits
ImuranRemicade
  • 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.
  • People taking Remicade (infliximab) for ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions had more clinical response, clinical remission and symptom improvement compared to people who did not take Remicade (infliximab).
  • People who were also taking steroids for treatment were able to discontinue steroid use while taking Remicade (infliximab).
  • Remicade (infliximab) has almost two decades of clinical trial data and real-life experience with many people who have used it.
  • After the initial dosing, you only need to take Remicade (infliximab) every 6-8 weeks, depending on your condition.
  • Compared to other medications used to treat autoimmune conditions, Remicade (infliximab) has not been associated with as many harmful effects during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Downsides and risks
ImuranRemicade
  • 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.
  • You have to receive this medication at your doctor's office or clinic. You might need to be tested regularly for tuberculosis.
  • Remicade (infliximab) lowers your ability to fight infection and can cause serious illness. The risk is greater if you take other drugs that lower your immune system, or have a history of diabetes or tuberculosis.
  • Remicade (infliximab) can in some cases worsen symptoms of heart failure or neurologic conditions. People 65 years and older may have more side effects from this medication.
  • In rare cases, Remicade (infliximab) has been associated with cancers in children and adolescents.
  • No generic available, so it can be costly.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ImuranRemicade
  • 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.
  • Remicade (infliximab) can in some cases cause a serious allergic reaction either immediately or several days after the treatment. Your doctor can give you medicines that will lower this risk.
  • Your doctor will test you for tuberculosis before taking Remicade (infliximab) and regularly during treatment.
  • Remicade (infliximab) lowers your immune system's ability to fight infections, so it's important to let your doctor know if you notice a fever, cough, or flu-like symptoms.
  • You should not receive any live vaccines while taking Remicade (infliximab). Tell your doctor that you are taking Remicade (infliximab) before receiving any vaccines.
  • If you have any signs or new or worsening symptoms such as heart, neurological, or autoimmune conditions, talk to your doctor. Tell your doctor about symptoms such as bruising or bleeding.
Learn more
More about ImuranSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Imuran (Azathioprine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about RemicadeSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Remicade (infliximab)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it