Kidneys Home > What Is Azasan Used For?

If you have received a kidney transplant or if you have rheumatoid arthritis, your healthcare provider may prescribe Azasan. This medication can help prevent the body from rejecting a newly transplanted kidney, and also helps relieve arthritis symptoms. It works by suppressing the immune system. There are also a number of "off-label" (unapproved) uses for Azasan, including the treatment of Behcet's syndrome and Crohn's disease.

An Overview of Azasan Uses

Azasan® (azathioprine) is a prescription medication approved for:
  • Reducing the signs and symptoms of active rheumatoid arthritis
  • Use in combination with other medications to prevent organ rejection after a kidney transplant.

Azasan Use for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means that, for some reason, the immune system mistakes a person's own cells as invaders and attacks them, causing damage. Similar to other autoimmune diseases, the causes of rheumatoid arthritis are unknown.
There are many rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, including chronic pain, along with tender, warm, and swollen joints. Azasan is approved to treat the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in addition to preventing future joint damage. It can be used alone or in combination with other rheumatoid arthritis medications.

Using Azasan After a Kidney Transplant

Kidney transplantation is the process of removing a kidney from an organ donor and surgically transplanting it into a person who has kidney failure. The procedure can allow people to be free from the time-consuming process of dialysis.
However, the body's immune system can reject the kidney. The immune system recognizes the kidney as being foreign and attacks it. In order to prevent this from happening, medications must be taken indefinitely to suppress the immune system.
Azasan is taken in combination with other immune-suppressing medications to prevent rejection of a transplanted kidney.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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