Imuran (Azathioprine)

Last updated on February 16, 2024

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Alternate names of Imuran

Aseroprim, Aseroprin, Aza-Q, Aza-q, Azafalk, Azafor, Azahexal, Azaimun, Azamedac, Azamun, Azamune, Azanin, Azapin, Azapress, Azaprin, Azaprine, Azarek, Azarekhexal, Azasan, Azathiodura, Azathioprin, Azathioprinum, Azatioprina, Azatrilem, Azopi, Azoran, Colinsan, Immunoprin, Imuger, Imunen, Imuprin, Imurek, Imurel, Satedon, Thioprine, Tiosalprin, Transimune, Zaprine, Zytrim

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Imuran Tablets (Azathioprine)

Imuran Tablets (Azathioprine)What Is Imuran?

Imuran tablets contain a medicine called azathioprine. This belongs to a group of medicines called immunosuppressants. These medicines reduce the activity of your body’s immune system.

Imuran is used to:

  • stop your body from rejecting an organ transplant;
  • treat diseases where your immune system reacts against your body (called autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis).

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you would like any further explanation about these uses.

Do Not Take Imuran

Don’t take the medicine if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to azathioprine, mercaptopurine, or any of the other ingredients of Imuran.

Do not take Imuran if any of the above apply to you. If you need more information, talk to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist before taking Imuran.

Take Special Care With Imuran

Check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist before taking Imuran if:

  • you have liver or kidney disease;
  • you have ‘Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome.’ This is a rare condition that runs in families caused by a lack of something called HPRT or ‘hypoxanthine-guanine-phosphoribosyltransferase’;
  • you have a condition where your body produces too little of something called TPMT or ‘thiopurine methyltransferase’;
  • you have ever suffered from chickenpox or shingles.

If you wonder if any of the above apply to you, talk to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist before taking Imuran.

Taking Other Medicines

Please tell your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken any other medicines. This includes medicines obtained without a prescription, including herbal medicines. This is because Imuran can affect the way some medicines work. Also, some other medicines can affect the way Imuran works.

In particular, tell your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • allopurinol: used for gout;
  • tubocurarine or succinylcholine: used during operations;
  • warfarin: used for blood clots;
  • penicillamine: used for rheumatoid arthritis;
  • co-trimoxazole: used for infections;
  • captopril: used for high blood pressure or heart problems;
  • cimetidine: used for stomach ulcers and indigestion;
  • indomethacin: used for pain and inflammation;
  • furosemide: used for high blood pressure and heart problems;
  • olsalazine or mesalazine: used for a bowel problem called ulcerative colitis;
  • sulfasalazine or balsalazide: used for rheumatoid arthritis or ulcerative colitis.

If you are unsure if any of the above apply to you, talk to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist before taking Imuran.

Having Vaccines While You Are Taking Imuran

If you are going to have a vaccination, speak to your doctor or nurse before you have it. This is because vaccines may not work properly while you are taking Imuran.

Tests You May Have While Taking Imuran

Your doctor may ask you to have a blood test while taking Imuran. This is to check your blood cell count. Your doctor may change your dose of Imuran after the test.

Trying for a Baby, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Do not take Imuran if you are a man trying to have a baby. This is because it may affect the baby.
  • Do not take Imuran if you are pregnant or think you might become pregnant. This is because it may affect the baby.
  • Do not take Imuran if you are breastfeeding. This is because small amounts may pass into the mother’s milk.

Ask your doctor, midwife, or pharmacist for advice before taking any medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Imuran and the Sun

While taking Imuran, you may be more likely to develop some types of cancers, such as skin cancer. Some people also become sensitive to sunlight, which can cause skin discoloration or a rash. Avoid too much sun, and use cover-up and sunscreen.

Chickenpox /Shingles Infection

Infection with chickenpox or shingles can become severe in patients taking immunosuppressive medicine. Therefore, you should avoid contact with anyone suffering from chickenpox or shingles.

How to Take Imuran

Always take Imuran precisely as your doctor has told you. You should contact your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for more information.

The dose of Imuran you take depends on your illness and how bad it is. The dose also depends on age, weight, and how well your liver and kidneys work. Your doctor will explain this to you.

On the first day, the usual dose is up to 5 mg per kg of body weight.

You will take between 1 and 4 mg per kg of body weight daily for the rest of your treatment.

For Other Conditions

At the start of your treatment:

  • you will take 1 to 3 mg per kg of body weight each day;
  • your doctor may reduce your dose later. If you take more Imuran than you should If you take more Imuran than you should, talk to your doctor or go to a hospital straight away. Take the medicine pack with you.

If You Forget to Take Imuran

If you forget to take Imuran, tell your doctor.

Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you have further questions about Imuran and how to take it.

Possible Side Effects

Like all medicines, Imuran can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. The following side effects may happen with this medicine:

Stop taking Imuran and see a doctor straight away if you notice any of the following serious side effects; you may need urgent medical treatment:

  1. Allergic reaction, the signs may include:

– general tiredness, dizziness, feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting) or diarrhea;

– high temperature (fever), shivering or chills;

– redness of the skin or a skin rash;

– pain in the muscles or joints;

– changes in the amount and color of the urine (kidney problems);

– dizziness, confusion, lightheadedness, or weakness caused by low blood pressure.

2. You bruise more easily or notice any unusual bleeding.

3. You have a high temperature (fever) or other signs of an infection.

4. You feel extremely tired.

5. You notice lumps anywhere on your body.

6. You notice any changes to your skin, for example, blisters or peeling.

7. Your health suddenly gets worse.

8. You come into contact with anyone who is suffering from chickenpox or shingles.

If you notice any of the above, stop taking Imuran and see a doctor immediately.

Other Side Effects

Very Common

(affects more than 1 in 10 people)

  • infections caused by a virus, fungus, or bacteria;
  • reduction in your bone marrow function, which may make you feel unwell or show up in your blood tests;
  • low white blood cell levels in your blood tests may cause an infection.


(affects less than 1 in 10 people)

  • low blood platelet levels may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.


(affects less than 1 in 100 people)

  • low red blood cell level, which may cause you to be tired, get headaches, be short of breath when exercising, feel dizzy, and look pale;
  • inflammation of the pancreas, which may cause severe upper stomach pain, with feeling sick (nausea) and being sick (vomiting);
  • liver problems, which may cause pale stools, dark urine, itchiness, and yellowing of your skin and eyes.


(affects less than 1 in 1,000 people)

  • problems with your blood and bone marrow, which may cause weakness, tiredness, paleness, headaches, sore tongue, breathlessness, bruising, or infections;
  • problems with your bowel leading to diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, feeling sick (nausea), and being sick (vomiting);
  • hair loss, which may get better even though you continue to take Imuran;
  • severe liver damage, which can be life-threatening;
  • various types of cancers, including blood, lymph, and skin cancers;
  • sensitivity to sunlight, which can cause skin discoloration or a rash.

Very Rare

(affects less than 1 in 10,000 people)

  • inflammation of your lungs, causing breathlessness, cough, and a fever.

If any of the side effects get serious, or you notice any other side effects not listed in this leaflet, please tell your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

How to Store Imuran

  • Do not store above 25°C.
  • Protect from light.
  • Keep out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Do not use Imuran after the expiration date stated on the label. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
  • Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines that are no longer required. These measures will help to protect the environment.

Further Information

What Imuran Contains

The active substance is azathioprine.

The other ingredients are lactose, pregelatinized starch, maize starch, stearic acid, magnesium stearate, methylhydroxypropyl cellulose, and propylene glycol 400.

There is no coloring in the yellow tablets.

The coloring in the orange tablets contains titanium dioxide (E171), yellow iron oxide (E172), and red iron oxide (E172).

What Imuran Looks Like and Contents of the Pack

Imuran tablets are covered by a thin coating and come in two strengths and colors.

The orange tablets contain 25 mg of the active ingredient azathioprine and are marked with ‘GX EL5′.

The yellow tablets contain 50 mg of azathioprine marked with ‘GXCH1′.

Imuran tablets come in packs of 28, 30, 56, 60, and 100 tablets.

The 50 mg tablets are also available in packs of 1000 tablets.

Not all pack sizes may be marketed.

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