Azathioprine is a medicine that modifies your immune system. It is usually used to treat diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), inflammatory myositis and vasculitis. Occasionally, it is also used in the management of rheumatoid arthritis.
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or loss of appetite
Take medication after food to minimise the side effects. Sucking hard, sugar-free candy may reduce nausea and vomiting. Inform your doctor if symptoms are severe or if you experience loss of appetite.
Loss of hair
This is harmless and may not be obvious. It often resolves spontaneously.
(Warning signs: Yellowing of eye whites or skin, dark or tea-coloured urine or constant abdominal pain)
Consult your doctor immediately. Avoid alcohol. Inform your doctor if you previously had jaundice or hepatitis.
Blood disorder (rare side effect)
(Warning signs: May be asymptomatic; unusual bleeding or bruising, lip or mouth ulcers with “flu-like” symptoms may occur)
Consult your doctor immediately if these symptoms occur. It is important to monitor the effects of your new treatment, particularly during the first three months of treatment. For your safety, you need to do regular blood tests for monitoring.
If you develop rashes, facial swelling or shortness of breath after taking the medication, you could be allergic to the medication. Please seek medical attention immediately.
If you have any problem with your treatment, please contact your doctor, pharmacist or rheumatology nurse clinician.
Please keep all medications out of reach of children.
© Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore 2017. All rights reserved. All information correct as of August 2017. No part of this document may be reproduced, copied, reverse compiled, adapted, distributed, commercially exploited, displayed or stored in a database, retrieval system or transmitted in any form without prior permission of Tan Tock Seng Hospital. All information and material found in this document are for purposes of information only and are not meant to substitute any advice provided by your own physician or other medical professionals.
This article was last reviewed on
Monday, August 6, 2018
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