What are the Azathioprine Side Effects?

Azathioprine is a prescription drug which suppresses the immune system. It is usually prescribed after kidney transplantations or for autoimmune diseases (a condition where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues). It comes under the brand names of Azasan and Imuran. Azathioprine is not recommended for children, pregnant women and nursing mothers as it comes with certain

Azathioprine side effects.

What are the Azathioprine side effects?

The common Azathioprine side effects noticed are:

  • Serious decrease in the white blood cell count
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Liver toxicity
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Allergic reaction
  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Severe abdominal pain

The condition is also associated with some rare azathioprine side effects.

Rare azathioprine side effects are:

  • Higher risk of developing cancer
  • Low back pain
  • Skin rash
  • Chills or high fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Black stools
  • Trouble while urinating

However, these azathioprine side effects can be rectified by altering the dosage of the drug.

For what is azathioprine is prescribed?

Azathioprine is prescribed in the following conditions:

  • To prevent any kind of rejection after kidney transplantation or other organ transplants
  • To treat severe rheumatoid arthritis

Besides this, Azathioprine is also used to treat the following ailments:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome like Crohn’s disease and Severe Ulcerative Colitis
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Restrictive lung disease
  • Eczema

To avoid stomach upset, one should take azathioprine tablets with milk or food. The medicine should be taken only under medical supervision. Likewise, the medication should not be discontinued without the professional guidance.

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