Azasan is a prescription drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help reduce the signs and symptoms of active rheumatoid arthritis. Azasan can reduce joint damage and disability. Azasan is often prescribed with a corticosteroid such as prednisone. Azasan makes it possible to take lower doses of the steroid and to withdraw it more quickly, reducing side effects. It is also referred to by its drug name, azathioprine. Azathioprine is also sold under the brand name Imuran.
Azasan is an immunomodulator, or in other words, a drug that modulates the immune system. Azasan is also considered a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD). Azasan is believed to work by blocking the synthesis of lymphocytes (type of white blood cell), decreasing their numbers, and preventing them from attacking the joints.
How do I take it?
Prescribing information states that Azasan is taken orally as a tablet once or twice daily. Your doctor may order regular complete blood count (CBC) and liver function tests while you are taking Azasan to monitor your risk for serious side effects.
It is important for both men and women to use effective birth control while taking Azasan. Azasan can lower the effectiveness of intrauterine devices (IUDs).
Azasan raises your risk for developing skin cancer. Wear protective clothing and sunblock with a high protection factor while taking Azasan.
The FDA-approved label for Azasan lists common side effects including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and muscle pain.
Rare but serious side effects listed for Azasan include certain cancers, low blood cell counts, and serious infections.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Azasan — RxList
Azathioprine (Imuran) — Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center