Azathioprine: Hi All, I am starting azathioprine... - LUPUS UK


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AmyKG profile image

Hi All,

I am starting azathioprine on Thursday and have been suspended from work while I am on them as they are immunosuppressants and I work in a lab.

Does anyone know what sort of time frame I am likely to be on immunosuppressants e.g forever or will I be taken off them when my flare has passed and my blood results look better?

15 Replies

Hi AmyKG, my understanding is the azathioprine is a long term medication. It takes. While for it to take full effect. Best to ask your Dr what your medication plan is as they all seems to have a different idea about it!

Good luck.

AmyKG profile image
AmyKG in reply to Melirm

Thanks for your reply Melirm, I will ask on Thursday. Hope you're well x

Unless it disagrees with you, you'll be on it long-term. It takes a good 3 months to even do anything, to give you an idea of time scales.

AmyKG profile image
AmyKG in reply to soootired

Thanks for the reply soootired, if that's the case then I've lost my job unfortunately. Really hope they have an alternative now!

I'm sorry to hear that, but your health is important and needs to be sorted out - they must have put you on it for a reason. I really hope it begins to work for you soon. 😊

AmyKG profile image
AmyKG in reply to soootired

Thank you, I hope so too. Hope you're well x


I was on Aza. As every one says you're no doubt in it for the long haul.

On the plus side I found Aza to be 'a walk in the park' ie no side effects at all. It was a shame it did not do the trick for me. I am on MTX now which has some side effects for me but it's been my magic bullet.

So I hope Aza works it's magic for you.

You may need to think laterally job-wise if you can no longer work in a lab.

I am a scientist but office based.

good luck


AmyKG profile image
AmyKG in reply to Joy_1

Thanks Joy, I appreciate your comment. I was thinking more of an office-based job if that is the case. Going to discuss other options with the rheumatologist tomorrow to see if there is literally any other treatment except immunosuppressants but will accept a career change if there are no options. Hope you're well x

AmyKG profile image
AmyKG in reply to Joy_1

Hi Joy,

What is it you do as a job, if you don't mind me asking? x

Joy_1 profile image
Joy_1 in reply to AmyKG

Food Science.

Hi Amy,

Who said you cannot work in the lab? I am also on Azathioprine, Plaquenil and low dose steroids and have recently have rituximab and I work everyday in a PC2 lab. I haven't actually had any problems yet..... Maybe it depends on your bloods?

AmyKG profile image
AmyKG in reply to Emily00

Hi Emily,

I'm doing a PhD studying blood and bone marrow cancers. The University have said I can't work in the lab as I work with patient samples that aren't screened. I also work in a multi-user lab where people are working with viruses and bacteria and therefore the university can't limit what I'm exposed to and have completely refused my access to the labs. The rheumatologist said as long as I was careful then I was okay but I don't think she considered that I was working with unscreened blood samples x

Emily00 profile image
Emily00 in reply to AmyKG

Yes, I guess university is worried about their liabiltiy if you do get a bad infection..... but I don't think you would need a full career change! you just might need to choose areas that have less risk for you... and as others have said, you may be on aza for a while so you might need to modify your research project for your PhD. Good Luck!

I have not come across anyone that has used Azathioprine as a short term medicine. Your employer need to look at reasonable adjustments that will allow you to stay in your current area of work. Wishing you well xx

Hi I know this post was started last year but I’m just curious by it. I’m a nurse so am regularly in contact with unknown virus’s, contagious diseases, untested blood, risk of needle stick injury etc but it has never affected my work. My consultant also knows my job. I also know there are many nurses working on Aza.

What was the outcome regarding your job?

Best wishes Becky

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