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Azathioprine (ay za THYE oh preen)

Pediatric Medication

Brand Names: U.S.

Azasan; Imuran

Brand Names: Canada

Apo-Azathioprine; Imuran; Mylan-Azathioprine; Teva-Azathioprine

Warning

  • Long-term use may raise your child’s chance of cancer.
  • Lymphoma and other cancers have happened in people who take this drug or drugs like it. This has been deadly in some cases. Talk with the doctor.

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to keep the body from turning down the kidney after a kidney transplant.
  • It is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
  • It may be given to your child for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

  • If your child has an allergy to azathioprine or any other part of this drug.
  • If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.

Rheumatoid arthritis patients:

  • If your child has ever been treated with chlorambucil, cyclosporine, or melphalan in the past.
  • If your child is pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not give this drug to your child if she is pregnant.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of their drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that your child is using this drug.
  • Your child may have more chance of getting infections. Avoid crowds and people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • Your child may bleed more easily. Make sure your child is careful and avoids injury. Be sure your child has a soft toothbrush.
  • If your child has thiopurine methyltransferase deficiency, talk with the doctor.
  • Have your child’s blood work checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.
  • There is a chance of skin cancer. Have your child avoid lots of sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and dress your child in clothing and eyewear that protects your child from the sun.
  • Talk with the doctor before your child gets any vaccines. Use with this drug may either raise the chance of very bad infection or make the vaccine not work as well.

If your child is or may be sexually active:

  • Have your child use birth control to prevent pregnancy while taking this drug.

If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:

  • This drug may cause harm to the unborn baby if your child takes it during pregnancy.
  • Talk with the doctor if your child is pregnant, becomes pregnant, or is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Any bruising or bleeding.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Muscle pain or weakness.
  • Night sweats.
  • A big weight loss.
  • If your child has a fever that does not go away.
  • Change in color or size of a mole.
  • A skin lump or growth.
  • A very bad brain problem called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) may happen with this drug. It may cause disability or death. Tell the doctor right away if your child has signs like confusion, memory problems, low mood (depression), change in the way your child acts, change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, or change in eyesight.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.

All products:

  • Give as you have been told, even if your child feels well.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss giving your child doses.

Tablet:

  • Give this drug with or without food. Give with food if it causes an upset stomach.

Shot:

  • It is given as a shot into a vein.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

Tablet:

  • Give a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your child’s next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
  • Do not give 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

Shot:

  • Call your child’s doctor to find out what to do.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

Tablet:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect from light.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.

Shot:

  • This drug will be given to you in a hospital or doctor’s office. You will not store it at home.

All products:

  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Copyright

Copyright © 2014 Clinical Drug Information, LLC and Lexi-Comp, Inc.