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Aziathioprine ? Has anyone else had this drug ?

Hi, have been on 4 other DMARDS and have now been put on this one but can not find many blogs on it.

The side effects are listed as may cause cancer and i am a bit worried to take them as i have lost most of my family to cancer !

I have had Ra for 3 years now and have still not managed to control it with drugs yet and am fed up taking these medicines that can make me feel ill with side-effects as well as feeling rubbish with the RA and fibro.

Can anyone let me know if they have taken this drug please.

Thanks Karen

13 Replies

Hi Karen, I haven't heard of it myself but just did a quick search for AZATHIOPRINE, * note spelling, in the search box right hand top page, and it brought up 2 pages. If you scan through you might find someone who has, or is still on it. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Love Janet xxx


hi i have had three of the dmards and am very slowly/ vaguely being considered for anti tnf, anti tnf criteriea before other people say something you would probably be excuded? as cancer is one of the screening questions, but question refers to you as ( I wasnt asked family history!, my dad has bladdder cancer and has had bldder removed this cancer is in 95% of cases caused by smoking and e was until recently a smoker!!statistically anti tnfs carry an increased cancer risk.

My three were, mtx,, sulphasazaline and gold injectons.. the injections worked for sixteen months and "gave the least side effects,I cannot take leflumonide as having lots of steroids due to drug and appointment failures has caused by to develop clinical high blood pressure!,Have been told hydorxy is too week a Dmard for me!

Nras do a list of dmards publication. If rfused anti tnf I WILL consider penicillamine, and maybe azathioprine ?... BAD nausea is most likely with this drug!!


I've been on azathiaprine since last November. Started on 50mg twice daily, now on 150mg twice daily.

Nausea is the main side effect - feels like morning sickness all day, but not as bad as I had with methotrexate.

For me it seems to be holding the inflammatory markers down - but I'm still on 5mg prednisolone as well. Minor flares in my hands only since January.

The risk of lymphoma seems small, and is worth taking for relief and being able to reduce the steroids.

I've had everything else and am not likely to be considered for biologics at my age with sero-neg RA and no erosions.


Hi Karen,

I have been on more Dmards and anti tnfs than I care to mention!!

If you look into most of these drugs, cancer is mentioned as a small chance side effect, and I don' t think you should worry on that count. When I tried Azathioprine, as an almost last resort, I had dibilitating sickness and nausea, and am afraid stopped after 3 months, although I must add, that I have never been able to take any Dmards for much the same reason, we are all different. I now have Rituximab, my very last chance! Hope Azathioprine works for you, and very good luck.



Hi Jenny i am glad you seem to be ok with Rituximab, its all try and error isn't it ?

Karen x


Hi Kaz,

I would ask to be considered for one of the newer biologic drugs. I believe if you have failed on 2 dmards drugs then you should be entitled to get them. At the moment i am on rituximab and it has made a difference to me. I think all the drugs do carry a small risk of cancer but hopefully with regular blood tests and reporting anything unusual right away then the risk will be lessened. x


Hi karen I have been on azathiaprine for a year now as every time I got to 25mlg of prednisolonei came realy ill but now I'm down to 7mlg and I known its a worry about cancer but I think it's worth the risk . Hope you make the right choice .grace1


My daughter uses this drug because she has Chrons, ive never been prescribed it for RA x


i've got crohns and on mtx for psa, managing up to now.

hope you make the right choice best of luck



sorry meant to put kaz1


Hi, thank you for all your comments, i think i will call the consultant before i take it just to make sure, i have had serious side effects with the other dmards and so am worried about starting another one. My DAS score is 4.6 so not enough for biologics, but have had 3 years of not having a drug to control inflammation yet and am fed up trying to find one that suits me !

Karen x


My mum is on this for her ulcerative colitis. I'm not sure what else it is prescribed for.


Know the feeling Karen, I have tried sulphasalasin e, methotrexate, leflunomide, ritiximab, Enbrel and at the moment getting so many infections from the dmards can't even get my Humira started!! But gonna persist as I would like to get some control over this disease. Hugs Axx


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