Azathioprine is a drug that acts
to suppress the work of the immune
system. It is used mainly in organ
transplantation to prevent the body
from rejecting the new organ. The
drug is also used in patients with lupus
who have damage to their kidneys or
other organs, muscle inflammation, or
advanced arthritis. Azathioprine helps
to reduce symptoms and damage to the affected organs.
Another benefit of azathioprine is that
it reduces or even eliminates the need
for corticosteroid therapy. This means
that patients do not have to have the
unpleasant side effects that occur with
corticosteroids. Immunosuppressives like
azathioprine, however, can have
their own serious side effects. Your
doctor must work closely with you to
make sure that the amount of the drug
you are taking gives you the benefits you
need with as few side effects as possible.
The brand name of your Azathioprine is
The strength or dose of the Azathioprine ordered for you is ___________.
Take the Azathioprine ________________
time(s) per day.
The best time(s) to take your
Additional instructions: ______________
Possible Side Effects
These include stomach upset,
nausea, vomiting, abdominal
pain, mouth ulcers, darkened
urine, pale stools, jaundice
(yellowing of the skin or white
portion of the eyes), unusual
bleeding or bruising, signs of
infection (such as chills, fever,
sore throat, or fatigue).
Do not take more than the
Avoid exposure to infections.
Stay away from crowds and
people known to have colds,
the flu, or other infections.
Do not take this drug with other
drugs, including over-the-counter
medications, without first checking
with your nurse or doctor.
are medications that you can buy
without a doctor's prescription.
Tell your nurses, doctors, or
dentist that you are taking
azathioprine for your lupus.
Tell any nurse, doctor, or dentist who
is taking care of you that you are
taking a corticosteroid for your lupus.
Use of this drug presents a
definite risk to the fetus. Use
an effective birth control
measure during treatment and
for 12 weeks after ending
treatment. Azathioprine may
pass into breast milk, so consult
your doctor before breastfeeding.
Source: National Institutes of Health, U.S.Dept of Health and Human Services