AZATHIOPRINE THERAPY FOR RA (RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS) Before starting azathioprine therapy, discuss the following with your physician:• A history of blood problems, liver or kidney disease, HIV infection, or a positive tuberculin skin test or tuberculosis.• All medications that you are taking, but in particular allopurinol (gout medicine) and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (a blood pressure medicine).
While you are taking azathioprine:• Contact your physician promptly if you notice fever or chills, sore throat, cough, unusual bruising or bleeding, a marked increase in fatigue, nausea or stomach pain, or a change in urine or skin color.• Take your medication with meals.• Never take a dose higher than the doctor has prescribed.• Try to avoid close contact with anyone who has a bacterial or viral infection.• Frequent blood tests for blood counts and liver function tests are required.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding Because problems can develop in the fetal immune system when the mother takes azathioprine, this medication should not be used during pregnancy, nor should it be taken if the mother is nursing.*100/209/5*
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