Journal of Kidney

ISSN - 2472-1220

Mini Review - (2021) Volume 7, Issue 10

Azathioprine: An Immuno-Suppressant Drug Used to Prevent Kidney Rejection after Transplant

Shahed Nazir*
*Correspondence: Shahed Nazir, Department of Medicine, Guntur Medical College, India, Email:

Author info »


Azathioprine (AZA) is a medicine utilized in the administration and treatment of dynamic rheumatoid joint inflammation (RA) and the counteraction of kidney relocate dismissal. Azathioprine (AZA) is supported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the indicative treatment of dynamic rheumatoid joint inflammation. It likewise has endorsement as adjunctive treatment for the avoidance of kidney relocate dismissal [1].

AZA utilized off-name for the therapy of fiery gut illness, Churg- Strauss disorder, immune system hepatitis (for support therapy alongside steroids), persistent ITP (second-line specialist), lupus nephritis, connective tissue sickness related ILD, numerous sclerosis, extreme myasthenia gravis, repetitive pericarditis, psoriasis, non-irresistible uveitis, backsliding polychondritis, dermatomyositis/polymyositis, erythema multiforme, serious and recalcitrant atopic dermatitis, ongoing actinic dermatitis, pyoderma gangrenosum, Behcet infection, cutaneous vasculitis, Pityriasis rubra pilaris, lichen planus, bullous pemphigoid, and pemphigus vulgaris. Of note, AZA or 6-MP are treatment choices for Crohn illness in kids as an upkeep treatment.


Azathioprine is a purine simple that proselytes to its dynamic metabolites, mercaptopurine (6-MP) and thioguanine (6-TGN), by the activity of hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) and thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) compounds. It then, at that point, hinders purine union. Its metabolites are joined into the reproducing DNA and stop division [2]. AZA metabolites may likewise intercede the greater part of its immunosuppressive and poisonous impacts. AZA is ingested quickly through the GI framework and doesn't infiltrate the blood-mind boundary. It goes through digestion in the liver, and discharge is by means of the kidneys, which builds its poisonousness in renal disappointment.


The beginning portion for AZA is 2 to 2.5 mg/kg/day, aside from patients with TPMT or NUDT15 quality transformation, in which the beginning portion is lower than typical. Portion changes are fundamental for hepatic and kidney illness. AZA tablets might be directed after suppers to diminish unfriendly GI impacts. Organization can be by IV push more than 5 minutes, at a focus not surpassing 5 mg/ml. It tends to be additionally weakened with NS or DW and regulated by discontinuous implantation more than 30 to an hour. Be that as it may, it might likewise be injected more than 5 minutes up to more than 8 hours [3].

Adverse Effects

Intricacies happen in 15 to 28% of patients

Frequent side effects

• Nausea; is the most successive incidental effect

• Dose-subordinate.

• Early-beginning sickness for the most part settle without portion adjustment

• Fever

• Fatigue

• Arthralgias/myalgia

• Bone marrow concealment causing pancytopenia, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia - there are reports of portion subordinate, perilous cases.

• Rash

• Hepatotoxicity: Hepatic injury relates with a 6-MMP level of more than 5700 pmol/8 × 10^8 RBC.

• Hepatotoxicity sorts into two gatherings.

1. Acute quirky liver injury occurs in the early course and resolves with halting the medicine.

2. Nodular regenerative hyperplasia happens in IBD and organ relocate patients quite a while after treatment.

• Infections (7.4%): Concomitant utilization of AZA and steroids will expand the danger of PCP in leukopenic patients.

• Hypersensitivity: side effects including fever, chills, arthralgia/ myalgia, liver irregularities, erythema nodosum

• Kidney harm

Rare side effects

• Diarrhea

• Carcinogenesis: cutaneous hyperkeratosis and nonmelanoma skin disease (SCC) in myasthenia gravis (in all likelihood because of expanded danger of photosensitivity), strong organ relocate and IBD patients/lymphoma in relocate and IBD patients

• Pancreatitis (3.3%): more in females with Crohn illness

1. Dose-subordinate

2. Usually occurs in the initial a month and a half

3. In the instance of pancreatitis, cease AZA

• Alopecia including telogen exhaust, anagen emanation, and plica neuropathica

• Macrocytic weakness

• Sweet disorder (intense febrile neutrophilic dermatosis)

• Pneumonitis: in IBD and renal transfer patients

• Upper aviation route edema

• Tremor: in relocate and Crohn patient: portion subordinate


• It usually requires 6 to 8 weeks for AZA to work. The proposal is to think about halting the prescription in case there is no improvement in 90 days.

• Checking TPMT action is recommended prior to beginning the medicine. Misclassification of TMPT total can occur by prior blood holding.

• Check the patient for hepatitis B and C and PPD. A pregnancy test before treatment initiation is also a recommendation.

• Complete blood count (CBC) and liver capacity test (LFT) checking week by week are prescribed at first for the initial 4 to about two months. CBC and LFT ought to get checked at regular intervals for the remainder of the treatment once the upkeep portion is accomplished. Notwithstanding, it is fitting to check CBC and LFT all the more every now and again in patients with kidney or renal infections or old patients on high measurements of AZA or low TPMT action. On the off chance that labs show leukopenia (WBC under 3 x 10^9/L), thrombocytopenia (platelet under 120 x 10^9/L), or transaminitis (liver natural chemistry the greater part of the typical maximum breaking point), the drug ought to be halted.

• On the off chance that patients have stomach torment or extreme queasiness/retching, serum amylase requires looking at to manage pancreatitis. Lymph hub and skin assessment ought to be half-yearly. On the off chance that a summed up mole happens, the AZA portion ought to be diminished or changed to another specialist.


Toxicity symptoms include gastrointestinal symptoms, bradycardia, hepatotoxicity, myelosuppression. Acute toxicity usually happens when more than 1.5 times of daily dose is taken by the patient. In the intense setting, actuated charcoal might assist with diminishing the side effects inside two hours of ingestion. No specific antidote is known for AZA [4]. In serious instances of harmfulness, dialysis is passable as AZA is dialysable. In instances of hepatic sinusoidal check disorder, it should end forever. In the event that seriously leukopenic, thrombocytopenic, or contaminated, treatment should stop.


  1. Meggitt SJ, Anstey AV, Mohd Mustapa MF, Reynolds NJ, Wakelin S. British Association of Dermatologists' guidelines for the safe and effective prescribing of azathioprine 2011. Br J Dermatol. 2011;16(4):711-734.
  2. Cooper N. State of the art - how I manage immune thrombocytopenia. Br J Haematol. 2017;177(1):39-54.
  3. Saway PA, Heck LW, Bonner JR, Kirklin JK. Azathioprine hypersensitivity. Case report and review of the literature. Am J Med. 1988;84(5):960-964.
  4. Jack KL, Koopman WJ, Hulley D, Nicolle MW. A Review of Azathioprine-Associated Hepatotoxicity and Myelosuppression in Myasthenia Gravis. J Clin Neuromuscul Dis. 2016;18(1):12-20.

Author Info

Shahed Nazir*
Department of Medicine, Guntur Medical College, Andhra Pradesh, India

Citation: Nazir S (2021) Azathioprine: An Immuno-Suppressant Drug Used to Prevent Kidney Rejection after Transplant. J Kidney 7:248. doi-10.35248/2472-1220.21.7.248.

Received: 07-Oct-2021 Published: 28-Oct-2021, DOI: 10.35248/2472-1220.21.7.248

Copyright: © 2021 Nazir S. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.