This page contains brief details about the drug , it's indication, dosage & administaration, mechanism of action, related brands with strength, warnings and common side effects.

Background and Date of Approval

Azathioprine belongs to the pharmacological class immunosuppressive agents.

Mechanism of Action of undefined

Azathioprine involves being converted into an active metabolite called 6-mercaptopurine within the body. 6-mercaptopurine is a purine analog, and it interferes with the synthesis of DNA and RNA in rapidly dividing cells, including immune cells. This disruption of nucleic acid synthesis suppresses the activity of the immune system by inhibiting the proliferation of immune cells. As a result, this medication reduces the production of antibodies and immune cells responsible for attacking the body's tissues in autoimmune diseases. The immunosuppressive effect helps to alleviate inflammation and control the symptoms of autoimmune conditions while also preventing the body from rejecting transplanted organs.

Uses of undefined

Azathioprine is used in various medical conditions primarily as an immunosuppressive medication. Its main applications include treating autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and certain skin disorders. It is also utilized to prevent organ rejection in transplant recipients. By modulating the immune system's activity, it helps control autoimmune responses and reduces inflammation, providing relief and improving the quality of life for patients with these conditions. Additionally, in transplant medicine, it plays a critical role in increasing the success rate of organ transplantation by suppressing the immune system's response to the transplanted organ, thus increasing the chances of a successful transplant.

undefined Drug administaration and Dosage available

Azathioprine can be administered through oral (by mouth) route. It is available in the form of tablets or oral suspension for easy ingestion.  It is important to follow the recommended dosage and schedule for this medication to ensure its effectiveness and safety in treating various medical conditions.

Warnings, Precautions and Side Effects of undefined


Azathioprine suppresses the immune system, increasing the risk of infections and delaying the body's ability to fight infections. Long-term use of this medication has been associated with an increased risk of developing malignancies, including lymphoma and skin cancer. It can cause bone marrow suppression, leading to a decrease in blood cell counts (anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia). This medication may cause liver problems, including hepatitis. It may increase the risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack or stroke, especially in individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular risk factors.


Take extra precautions to avoid exposure to infections. Limit contact with sick individuals and practice good hygiene, such as frequent handwashing. Undergo regular blood tests to monitor your blood cell counts and liver function while on azathioprine. This helps detect any potential bone marrow suppression or liver problems early. Consult your healthcare provider before receiving any vaccinations while on this medication.  Inform your healthcare provider if you have a history of hepatitis B or C, as this medication can reactivate these. Take this medication as prescribed by your healthcare provider and do not stop or adjust the dosage without consulting them.

Side Effects

Azathioprine can cause common side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, headache, hair loss, and increased susceptibility to infections. More serious side effects may include severe allergic reactions, liver problems, pancreatitis, severe bone marrow suppression, and an increased risk of developing malignancies. Promptly report any side effects to your healthcare provider for proper management and monitoring during the course of treatment.

Word Of Advice

Inform your healthcare provider of any allergies, liver or kidney problems, ongoing infections, and pre-existing medical conditions. Azathioprine can weaken the immune system, increasing the risk of infections, so avoid close contact with sick individuals. Regular blood tests are necessary to monitor blood cell counts, and genetic testing may help optimize dosing for some individuals. Practice sun protection, limit alcohol consumption, and discuss family planning options if needed.Always take this medication as prescribed, attend regular check-ups, and be vigilant for any side effects or changes in your health. 

Frequently Asked Question


  1. Mylan, Electronic Medicines Compendium (EMC), [Revised on 05 Aug 2022] [Accessed on 7th August 2023],
  2. Sebela Pharmaceuticals Inc., US Food & Drug Administration, [Revised on Dec 2018] [Accessed on 7th August 2023],
  3. O Mohammedi, Kassim TA, Azoran 75mg Tablet, NCBI Bookshelf, [Revised on Ist May, 2023.], [Accessed on7th August 2023 ],


The drug information on this page is not a substitute for medical advice, it is meant for educational purposes only. For further details, consult your doctor about your medical condition to know if you can receive this treatment.