This information is designed to answer some of your questions about Azathioprine, which your doctor has prescribed for the treatment of your skin condition.
Why has my doctor prescribed this drug?
Azathioprine is used to treat various skin conditions. We have many patients who are taking this drug who find their condition is well controlled. You can continue to take this drug for as long as it is helps your skin and is not causing any untoward side effects.
How long before I see an improvement in my condition
As Azathioprine is a slow acting drug it will be several weeks before you notice any improvement, but do not be discouraged. You should continue to take all your medication as prescribed.
How much will I take and when?
This depends upon the severity of your condition. The doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for you; this is calculated on your weight. The doctor will tell you the dose and when to take it, all the instructions will also be on your prescription from pharmacy. The dose may be adjusted according to your response and blood count.
Are there any side-effects?
As with all medications, there may be some patients who experience unwanted side-effects with this treatment. These may include:
Nausea and vomiting
If you suffer from any of these symptoms it is important that you contact the dermatology nursing staff immediately, do not wait until your next visit.
All of these side effects are reversible when detected early so it is very important that you attend for regular blood tests and tell the nursing staff immediately if you suffer from any side effects.
What else do I need to be aware of?
Before commencing treatment we need to check a blood sample, this gives us pre-treatment measures.
Azathioprine tablets can affect your blood count and liver; therefore you need to have regular blood tests for as long as you are taking the medication. For the first month you will require weekly blood tests, then fortnightly for a month, following that once monthly for 3 months.
If you are taking the drug long term we will continue to check your blood once every 3 months.
If you are pregnant or breast-feeding please tell your dermatologist as this may affect his decision to commence Azathioprine.
Azathioprine can react with some other commonly used drugs for example; Allopurinol or Zyloric, please let your dermatologist know of any other medications you are taking.
This leaflet contains basic information about your treatment, please contact the Dermatology Department.
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.