How it works

Azathioprine works to suppress the immune system to dampen down symptoms of myasthenia. This is known as immunosuppression. In autoimmune myasthenia, the body produces antibodies that target the acetylcholine receptor, blocking it and preventing successful transmission between the nerve and muscle cells. Azathioprine suppresses the immune system and therefore the production of these antibodies.

How it is delivered

Azathioprine is prescribed orally to be taken daily and the dosage is weight-based. It is important if a daily dose is missed not to double dose, simply return to schedule the next day. If you take multiple doses a day, it is fine to combine with the next dose that day. If more than one dose is missed, check with your prescribing doctor for instructions.

Side effects

Adverse: hives, swelling of face, lips, or tongue, difficulty breathing, severe nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fever or chills, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, skin rash, cough, cold sores in the mouth or on the lips, sore throat, blood in the urine or stool, unusual bruising, pale stools or darkened urine, yellowing of skin and eyes, darkening of the skin and fingernails, muscle or joint pain, hair loss, fatigue or a missed menstrual period. If any of these symptoms occur, contact your doctor immediately.

Known UK suppliers

AAH Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Alliance Healthcare (Distribution) Ltd, Healthcare Pharma Ltd, Medihealth (Northern Ltd), Phoenix Healthcare Distribution Ltd, Sigma Pharmaceuticals Plc, Tillomed Laboratoris Ltd, Viatris UK Healthcare Ltd.

FAQ (what else do I need to know?)

For those it helps, Azathioprine is known to provide gradual improvement and takes time and patience, sometimes 3-12 months, for results to be seen.

Immunosuppressant agents may increase the risk of infection, and it is important to notify your doctor if you develop persistent signs of infection.

Report any side effect you have to the Medicines Health and Regulatory Authority (MHRA) as part of their Yellow Card Scheme.

Click here to report a side effect to the MHRA.