What is azathioprine?
Azathioprine is an oral drug that is used to treat most forms of vasculitis, including ANCA associated vasculitis, Takayasu’s, Bechet’s, and cutaneous vasculitis.
How does azathioprine work?
Azathioprine interferes with the replication of immune cells.
How is azathioprine given?
Azathioprine is given as an oral pill once per day. Generally, we aim for a dose of 2 mg per kg of body weight per day.
Azathioprine can cause low blood counts and elevated liver function tests in addition to gastrointestinal side effects. We check a blood test prior to using azathioprine which helps identify patients who may not tolerate azathioprine for long term use.
All immunosuppressants require regular monitoring in the form of blood tests, in-person assessments, and vigilance for signs of infection.