Name: Azathioprine Intravenous
- Azathioprine Intravenous brand name
- Azathioprine Intravenous dosage
- Azathioprine Intravenous dosage forms
- Azathioprine Intravenous injection
- Azathioprine Intravenous side effects
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
- Powder for Solution
Therapeutic Class: Antirheumatic, Cytotoxic
Pharmacologic Class: Azathioprine
Uses For azathioprine
Azathioprine injection is used to prevent rejection of a transplanted kidney. It belongs to the group of medicines known as immunosuppressive agents. Azathioprine will lower the body's natural immunity in patients who receive transplants to prevent rejection of the new kidney. It is also used to relieve joint pain and swelling for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
azathioprine is to be given only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.
Proper Use of azathioprine
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you azathioprine in a hospital. azathioprine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.
Your doctor will give you a few doses of azathioprine until your condition improves, and then switch you to an oral medicine that works the same way. If you have any questions about this, talk to your doctor.
Precautions While Using azathioprine
It is very important that your doctor check you carefully while you are receiving azathioprine for any problems or unwanted effects that may be caused by azathioprine. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using azathioprine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using azathioprine, tell your doctor right away.
Do not use azathioprine if you are also taking mercaptopurine (Purinethol®). Using these medicines together could cause serious unwanted effects.
If you are using azathioprine for arthritis, make sure your doctor knows if you received chlorambucil (Leukeran®), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®, Neosar®), or melphalan (Alkeran®) to treat your arthritis in the past. Using azathioprine after these medicines may increase your risk for unwanted effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about this.
azathioprine may increase your risk of getting certain types of cancer, especially of the skin, lymph system (lymphoma), or blood (leukemia). Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.
Use sunscreen or sunblock lotions with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 on a regular basis when you are outdoors. Wear protective clothing and hats, and stay out of direct sunlight between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
While you are being treated with azathioprine, and after you stop treatment with it, do not have any immunizations (vaccines) without your doctor's approval. Azathioprine may lower your body's resistance and the vaccine may not work as well or you might get the infection the vaccine is meant to prevent. In addition, you should not be around other persons living in your household who receive live virus vaccines because there is a chance they could pass the virus on to you. Some examples of live vaccines include measles, mumps, influenza (nasal flu vaccine), poliovirus (oral form), rotavirus, and rubella. Do not get close to them and do not stay in the same room with them for very long. If you have questions about this, talk to your doctor.
Azathioprine can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, increasing the chance of getting an infection. It can also lower the number of platelets, which are necessary for proper blood clotting. If this occurs, there are certain precautions you can take, especially when your blood count is low, to reduce the risk of infection or bleeding:
- If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you get a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.
- Check with your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual bleeding or bruising, black, tarry stools, blood in the urine or stools, or pinpoint red spots on your skin.
- Be careful when using a regular toothbrush, dental floss, or toothpick. Your medical doctor, dentist, or nurse may recommend other ways to clean your teeth and gums. Check with your medical doctor before having any dental work done.
- Do not touch your eyes or the inside of your nose unless you have just washed your hands and have not touched anything else.
- Be careful not to cut yourself when you are using sharp objects such as a safety razor or fingernail or toenail cutters.
- Avoid contact sports or other situations where bruising or injury could occur.
azathioprine may increase your risk of developing infections, including a serious brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections while you are using azathioprine. Wash your hands often. Tell your doctor if you have lupus or if you have any kind of infection before you start using azathioprine. Also tell your doctor if you have ever had an infection that would not go away or an infection that kept coming back.
Check with your doctor right away if you have more than one of these symptoms while you are using azathioprine: severe nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fever, rash, a general feeling of discomfort or illness, muscle or joint pain, lightheadedness or dizziness, or unusual tiredness or weakness. These could be symptoms of a serious reaction to the medicine in your bowel (intestine).
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
azathioprine Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:More common
- Black, tarry stools
- bleeding gums
- blood in the urine or stools
- chest pain
- painful or difficult urination
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- shortness of breath
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- swollen glands
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Abdominal or stomach pain or tenderness
- clay-colored stools
- dark urine
- decreased appetite
- loss of appetite
- nausea and vomiting (severe)
- skin rash or itching
- swelling of the feet or lower legs
- yellow eyes or skin
- Abdominal or stomach cramps
- difficulty with breathing
- difficulty with moving
- fat in the stool
- general feeling of illness
- muscle pain or stiffness
- pain in the joints
- pale skin
- sores on the skin
- sudden loss of weight
- swollen glands
- troubled breathing with movement
- weight loss
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
- Nausea or vomiting (mild)
- swollen joints
- Hair loss or thinning of the hair
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.