azathioprine - oral, Imuran (cont.)
HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth, usually once or twice daily as directed by your doctor. Azathioprine should be taken with food to reduce stomach upset. Dosage is based on your medical condition, weight, and response to therapy. For the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, the manufacturer recommends that you do not take more than 2.5 milligrams per kilogram per day.Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often without your doctor's approval. Your condition will not improve any faster and the risk of serious side effects may be increased. Also do not stop taking this medication without your doctor's approval.Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time(s) each day.For arthritis, it may take up to 2 months of continued use to notice relief of symptoms. Inform your doctor if your condition does not improve after 3 months of treatment.Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle or break the tablets of this medication.
SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.You may experience stomach/intestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite. If these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor immediately. These symptoms may be reduced by taking the medication after meals. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about other dosing advice that may also help with these symptoms.Although unlikely, more severe stomach/intestinal symptoms (e.g., severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, stomach/abdominal pain) may occur as part of a very serious allergic reaction. Seek immediate medical attention if you have severe stomach/intestinal symptoms or other symptoms of a serious allergic reaction which may include: fever, shaking chills, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing, cough, new or worsening joint/muscle aches, dark urine.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: muscle loss, hair loss, cold/numbness in the fingers, mouth sores, difficult/painful swallowing, greasy stools.Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: yellowing eyes/skin, swelling/extra fluid around the abdomen, vomit that contains blood or looks like coffee grounds, black stools.This medication may increase your risk of getting a rare but very serious (sometimes fatal) brain infection (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy-PML). Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: clumsiness, loss of coordination, weakness, sudden change in your thinking (such as confusion, difficulty concentrating), difficulty moving your muscles, problems with speech, seizure, vision changes.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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