Azathioprine is used with other medications to prevent rejection of kidney transplants. It is also used to treat severe Wegener’s Granulomatosis (condition in which the body attacks its blood vessels).
Azathioprine is in a class of medications called immunosuppressants. It works by weakening the body’s immune system so it will not attack the transplanted organ or the joints. In the case of WG, Azathioprine is used as a maintenance drug, not as main treatment during a crisis.
Azathioprine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately.
lack of energy
loss of appetite
pain in the upper right part of the stomach
yellowing of the skin or eyes
**Warning: there are a certain amount (5%?) of the population who have severe reactions to this drug (genetic). If you have flu like symptoms or excessive nausea, you may not be able to tolerate this drug. Call your doctor.
My Analysis: I have been on azathioprine for 1 1/2 years. It has been a very good drug for me. I have had a slight bit of nausea when I was getting used to the drug (first two weeks), but so far it has been great. My hair has come back. And it is thick.
Also, I have kidney issues so this drug has been very good for my kidneys too. It is milder than cytoxan. Also, I did not tolerate methotrexate too well, I was happy that I could tolerate this azathioprine.
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