Side Effects of Azathioprine

In most cases, azathioprine side effects are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated. Common side effects include leukopenia, infections, and nausea or vomiting. Uncommon side effects include hair loss, joint pain, and diarrhea. You should, however, notify your healthcare provider if you experience more serious side effects, such as unusual bleeding or bruising, or any signs of liver problems or infections.

Side Effects of Azathioprine: An Introduction

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with azathioprine (Imuran®). However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with azathioprine. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of azathioprine side effects with you.)

Serious Azathioprine Side Effects

Some side effects with azathioprine, while occurring infrequently, are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Any signs of an infection, such as fever, sore throat, or chills
  • Signs of liver problems, such as:
    • Yellow skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
    • Dark urine
    • Upper abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Any unusual moles or other skin lesions, including a sore that does not heal
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Swelling in the neck, underarm, or groin (an early sign of a type of cancer called lymphoma)
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Unexplained swelling
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
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Azathioprine (Imuran) Information

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