Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Autoimmune

Imuran 

(azathioprine)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Autoimmune
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Prevents organ rejection and relieves joint pain and inflammation.

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Our bottom line

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

Price and discounts
Best available price for 60 (50mg) tablets of azathioprine

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.

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.
How it works

Imuran (Azathioprine) is an immunosuppressant medication. It blocks the production of the white blood cells that kill unfamiliar cells.

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Side effect rates for Imuran (azathioprine)

  • Infections
  • Leukopenia <2500 cells/mm3

Risks and Warnings for Imuran (azathioprine)

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  • Long-term use of Imuran (Azathioprine) has been reported to cause skin cancer, as well as lymphoma (a cancer of the lymph nodes, which protect our bodies from infection and toxins).

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Imuran (azathioprine)

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Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • Drinking alcohol is okay while taking Imuran (Azathioprine).
Kidneys and liver
  • It attacked my liver and kidneys. I developed drug induced diabetes. Everything cleared up when I was switched to cellcept.
Pain
  • One of the side effect was muscular and skeletal pain. After 2-3 weeks on the medication I was unable to walk without the aid of two walking sticks. Symptoms last for many months after stopping the medication.
  • Have used for 16 years. Blood tests are a pain to have to remember to do, but otherwise has treated my uc. I still have joint pain periodically though, especially if I try to run.