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Azathioprine

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Antimetabolite Adult

Azathioprine - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Azathioprine cause?

Side effects may occur when taking Azathioprine, but the majority of these effects tend to resolve spontaneously. Common side effects include:

  • Nausea and vomiting (Can be minimized by taking Azathioprine after food)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dizziness

Consult your doctor or pharmacist about any symptoms that becomes bothersome.

Before taking Azathioprine, what precautions must I follow?

Azathioprine should be taken as prescribed by the doctor. It is usually given orally after food once daily, taken at the same time daily.

A typical adult dose ranges from 50 milligrams to 150 milligrams daily depending on the patient's response and tolerability to the medicine. For children, the dose is usually calculated based on body weight or body surface area. Your doctor may reduce the dose if you have kidney problem.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Azathioprine?

 Avoid raw (e.g. sashimi) or half-cooked foods (e.g. half-boiled eggs) to prevent food poisoning.

Azathioprine may interact with other medicine or supplement that you are taking. Inform the doctor, pharmacist or specialty nurse (such as dermatology, gastroenterology or rheumatology) before starting any medicines and supplements. Medicines such as Febuxostat should not be taken together with Azathioprine as they might increase the chance of you experiencing severe side effects. On the other hand, supplement such as Echinacea may reduce the benefit of Azathioprine.

Alcohol may interact with Azathioprine and increase the risk of liver toxicity. It should be avoided if possible or kept to minimum amount as suggested by your doctor.

Immunization status should be current before starting the medicine. Do not receive any live vaccine while you are on Azathioprine. Always consult your doctor before going for immunisation.

  • Updated on Sunday, February 28, 2016
  • Article contributed by Pharmacy Department, Rheumatology & Immunology KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Singapore General Hospital

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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