Imuran

Generic Name: Azathioprine

  • What is Imuran?

    Imuran is used to help prevent your body from rejecting a transplanted kidney. Imuran works by suppressing your body's immune system, which is responsible for fighting infections and rejecting donated organs. Imuran is also used for the management of active rheumatoid arthritis.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Imuran?

    Imuran may increase your risk of developing cancer. This risk is greater in those who are receiving high doses or on multiple immunosuppressive drugs. Talk to your doctor about your specific risk.

    Imuran can suppress your bone marrow and reduce the production of certain cells in your blood. This risk is greater in those who have a specific genetic disorder. Your doctor may perform genetic testing prior to starting therapy to determine your risk. Additionally, your doctor will perform periodic blood tests while you are taking Imuran. It is important that you report any signs of unusual bleeding or bruising to your doctor.

    Serious infections can develop while taking Imuran. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of an infection such as a fever, chills, sore throat, body ache, weakness, or muscle pain.

  • Who should not take Imuran?

    Imuran should not be used in pregnant women for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

    Do not take Imuran if you are allergic or sensitive to any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Imuran?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Imuran. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have any type of active infection, or if you have rheumatoid arthritis and have recently been treated with an alkylating agent (e.g., cyclophosphamide, chlorambucil, melphalan, etc.). In addition, tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Kidney Transplantation

    Adults: The initial dose is usually 3-5 milligrams (mg) per 2.2 pounds of body weight given at the time of transplant. The dose will then be continued at 1-3 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight daily after completion of the transplant.

    Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Adults: The initial dose is usually 1 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight given as a single dose or taken twice daily. Your doctor may then increase your dose after 6-8 weeks by 0.5 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight daily. Any further increases should be made every 4 weeks in increments of 0.5 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight daily, up to a maximum dose of 2.5 mg per 2.2 pounds of body weight daily.

  • How should I take Imuran?

    Take Imuran exactly as directed by your doctor. Imuran IV solution will be prepared and administered by your doctor.

    You may take Imuran with food to help lessen stomach upset.

  • What should I avoid while taking Imuran?

    Avoid being in environments that may increase your risk of acquiring an infection. Also, avoid being near people who have a cold, the flu, or any other contagious infections.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Imuran?

    If Imuran is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Imuran with the following: ACE-inhibitors, allopurinol, aminosalicylates, cotrimoxazole, and warfarin.

  • What are the possible side effects of Imuran?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: infections, bleeding, anemia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, malaise, muscle pain

  • Can I receive Imuran if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    Imuran can cause harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Imuran should only be used in pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the risk. Imuran should not be used in pregnant women with rheumatoid arthritis. Imuran should not be used in nursing mothers. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Imuran?

    Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take two doses at the same time.

  • How should I store Imuran?

    Store at room temperature, away from moisture and light.

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I'm Kristen Dore, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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