Imuran 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. Imuran can reduce joint damage and disability. Imuran is often prescribed with a corticosteroid such as prednisone. Imuran makes it possible to take lower doses of the steroid and to withdraw it more quickly, reducing side effects. Imuran is also referred to by its drug name, azathioprine. Azathioprine is also sold under the brand name Azasan.
Imuran is an immunomodulator, which is a drug that modulates the immune system. Imuran is also considered a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD). Imuran is believed to work by blocking the synthesis of lymphocytes, decreasing their numbers, and preventing them from attacking the joints.
How do I take it?
Prescribing information states that Imuran 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 Imuran to monitor your risk for serious side effects.
It is important for both men and women to use effective birth control while taking Imuran to prevent pregnancy. Imuran can lower the effectiveness of intrauterine devices (IUDs).
Imuran raises your risk for developing skin cancer. Wear protective clothing and sunblock with a high protection factor while taking Imuran.
The FDA-approved label for Imuran lists common side effects including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and muscle pain.
Rare but serious side effects listed for Imuran include certain cancers, low blood cell counts, and serious infections.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Imuran — RxList
Azathioprine (Imuran) — Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center