azathioprine & arthritis

I wonder if anyone here has been prescribed azathioprine for arthritis. I found out recently that it was one of the original drugs given for psoriasis & arthritis but don't see it mentioned anywhere now.

10 Replies

  • Imuran

    Is an immunosuppressant that generally has effects the same as Methotrexate, discuss with GP or RA Nurse.

    All the best


  • Hello,

    Just to say that Azothiaprine is still used as far as I know, it's just that so many other meds are now available that I don't think it tends to be the rheum's first choice. My understanding is, as Bob's, that it is another "methotrexate" type med. A few years ago, I had a blood test to check that it would be ok for me to take Azothiaprine if another DMARD was needed, so unless things have changed, I think it's still around. I know someone who has taken it for Crohns Disease for many years and, for him, it has been really effective with no unwanted side effects at all as far as I am aware.

    I hope that, if you are taking it/going to take it, it works well for you.


  • it works well for my auto-immune skin problem but now am suspected of having one the lovely varieties of arthritis i keep wondering whether the azathioprine has helped in keeping it at a manageable level pain wise. the consultant does not know.

  • Hello again,

    I'm glad it works well for your skin but sorry you now have arthritis to contend with too. As you say, maybe the Azothiaprine has been helping to keep that manageable - and I very much hope that, if so, it continues to do so.


  • Thanks Tilly.

  • I am on azothiaprine. 75mg twice daily. I have been on everything else - from gold injections to methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine, sulphasalazine, etc. Not eligible for biologics apparently, (although my sister with a lower DAS score is!). But this seems to be suiting me fairly well - I would have said very well, but currently having a moderate flare in my hands & wrists.

    Main side effects seems to be nausea and bowel overactivity, more serious ones are rare but just have to be faced if they happen - read the information on the NRAS site for a balanced account. The main advantage for me is that I don't get the brain fog and the enormous mouth ulcers I had on Methotrexate.

  • good to hear your condition is 'under control'. what type of Arthritis (if any) do you take azathio for?

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis with Polymyalgic features.

  • Hi Reef, I have been prescribed Azothiaprine three months ago. This is after break from Methotrexate which was making my white cell count low.


  • I hope it works for you because it has almost no major side effects if your body tolerates it. But it takes at least 3 months to take effect on the immune system's relevant anti-bodies.

You may also like...