Compare Imuran vs. Prograf

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


Imuran (Azathioprine)

Prescription only

Prograf (tacrolimus)

Prescription only
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.

Prevents rejection of a transplanted organ.

Prograf (tacrolimus) is a good medicine that prevents rejection of an organ transplant, but you will need to be on it lifelong.

  • 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.
  • Prevents your body from rejecting a transplanted organ.
  • Available as an extended-release pill, so it can be taken just once daily.
  • Less cosmetic side-effects than other anti-rejection medicine like cyclosporine.
  • 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.
  • Regular blood tests are required for monitoring while on Prograf (tacrolimus).
  • Can cause a lot of side-effects, such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure, mental status changes, and kidney damage, especially with lifelong use.
  • Increases your risk of infection and certain cancers.
Used for
  • Prevention of heart transplant rejection
  • Prevention of liver transplant rejection
  • Prevention of kidney transplant rejection
  • Lung transplant rejection
  • Bowel transplant rejection
  • Graft-versus-host disease
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Injection
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Side effects
2possible side effects
  • Infections
  • Leukopenia <2500 cells/mm3
See more detailed side effects
13possible side effects
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney Function Abnormal
  • Anemia
  • Low white blood cells
  • Viral infection
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Infection
  • High blood sugar
  • High cholesterol
  • Bronchitis
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Fluid around the heart
  • Tremor
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Cancer
  • Decreased blood cells
  • Increased risk for infection
  • Harm to fetus
    • Sexually active men and women
    • Pregnant women
    • Child-bearing women
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Serious infections
    • Taking other immunosuppressant drugs
    • Age 60 or older
    • Weak immune system
  • Cancer
    • Taking Prograf (tacrolimus) for a long time
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart problems
    • Taking drugs that interact with Prograf (tacrolimus)
    • High Prograf (tacrolimus) blood levels
  • Kidney damage
    • Poor kidney function
    • Taking other drugs that can damage the kidneys
    • Taking drugs that interact with Prograf (tacrolimus)
  • Diabetes
    • African-American descent
    • Hispanic descent
  • Increased risk of death in female liver transplant patients taking extended-release Prograf (tacrolimus)
    • Females using Astagraf XL
    • Liver transplantation
See more detailed risks and warnings