Generic Name: Azathioprine Injection (ay za THYE oh preen)
Medically reviewed on July 4, 2018
- Long-term use may raise your chance of cancer.
- Lymphoma and other cancers have happened in people who take azathioprine injection or drugs like it. This has been deadly in some cases. Talk with the doctor.
- A rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma (HSTCL) has happened with azathioprine injection. These cases have been deadly. Most of the time, these cases happened in teenagers or young adults. Most of these patients were using azathioprine injection to treat certain types of bowel problems like Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis. This medicine is not approved for use to treat bowel problems like these. Tell the doctor if you have ever had any type of cancer. Talk with the doctor.
Uses of Azathioprine Injection:
- It is used to keep the body from turning down the kidney after a kidney transplant.
- It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Azathioprine Injection?
For all uses of azathioprine injection:
- If you have an allergy to azathioprine or any other part of azathioprine injection.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have ever been treated with chlorambucil, cyclosporine, or melphalan in the past.
- If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
Rheumatoid arthritis patients:
- If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take azathioprine injection if you are pregnant.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with azathioprine injection.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take azathioprine injection with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Azathioprine Injection?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take azathioprine injection. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- You may have more of a chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu. Some infections have been very bad and even deadly.
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
- If you have a thiopurine methyltransferase deficiency, talk with your doctor.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- The chance of skin cancer may be raised. Avoid lots of sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.
- You may need to have your skin checked while you take azathioprine injection. Talk with your doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before getting any vaccines. Use with azathioprine injection may either raise the chance of an infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
- If you are taking warfarin, talk with your doctor. You may need to have your blood work checked more closely while you are taking it with azathioprine injection.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant.
- Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking azathioprine injection.
- If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking azathioprine injection, call your doctor right away.
How is this medicine (Azathioprine Injection) best taken?
Use azathioprine injection as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop.
- Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Very upset stomach or throwing up.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Muscle pain or weakness.
- Night sweats.
- A big weight loss.
- Fever that does not go away.
- Change in color or size of a mole.
- A skin lump or growth.
- A very bad brain problem called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) has happened with azathioprine injection. It may cause disability or can be deadly. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs like confusion, memory problems, low mood (depression), change in the way you act, change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, or change in eyesight.
What are some other side effects of Azathioprine Injection?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Azathioprine Injection?
- If you need to store azathioprine injection at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about azathioprine injection, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about azathioprine
- Azathioprine Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 73 Reviews
- Drug class: antirheumatics
- Azathioprine Tablets
- Azathioprine Intravenous (Advanced Reading)
- Azathioprine Oral, Intravenous (Advanced Reading)