Precautions and Warnings With Azasan

Azasan is associated with potentially dangerous complications, such as serious infections, certain cancers, and blood cell problems. Therefore, it is important to discuss your complete medical history with your healthcare provider before beginning treatment with Azasan. This includes a current list of all medications and supplements you are taking. Other safety precautions include warnings for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Azasan® (azathioprine) if you have:
  • Taken chemotherapy medications in the past
  • A blood disorder
  • Any infection.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Azasan Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this drug include the following:
  • Azasan works by suppressing the immune system. While this is helpful for preventing kidney transplant rejection or for treating rheumatoid arthritis, it also puts you at a higher risk for infections. Your body may not be able to fight off infections as well as it should. Let your healthcare provider know if you have any signs of an infection during treatment.
  • The medication can decrease the body's ability to produce blood cells, including those that are important for the immune system. It is recommended that you have blood tests frequently (weekly for the first month, twice a month for the next two months, and then at least monthly) to check for these problems.
  • The medication can increase your risk of certain types of cancers, especially skin cancer or lymphomas. Let your healthcare provider know if you have any unusual skin changes or other unusual symptoms while taking the drug.
  • Azasan can decrease sperm production in men. This is usually temporary and corrects itself once the medication is stopped.
  • Azasan is a pregnancy Category D medication. This means it is probably not safe for use in pregnant women, although the full risks are currently unknown. Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug while pregnant (see Azasan and Pregnancy).
  • Azasan passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider before taking the drug (see Azasan and Breastfeeding).
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