Imuran is an immunosuppressant that is used to prevent rejection after an organ transplant. Imuran can also be used to treat various chronic (long-term) autoimmune and inflammatory conditions such as Crohn"s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. As an immunosuppressant, the drug works by suppressing the body"s defense or immune system.
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Imuran is used together with other drugs to prevent the rejection of a kidney after a transplant. Imuran can also be used to reduce symptoms and signs of active rheumatoid arthritis.
Imuran is an antimetabolite that works by reducing the effects of some cells in the body"s defence system; Imuran helps prevent the body from fighting the new organ. In chronic autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, the body"s defence system attacks part of a person"s body as if it were foreign; Imuran suppresses the immune system, thereby reducing inflammation and the symptoms caused.
- Organ transplant
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Imuran dosage is dependent on the individual that it is being administered to. The following dosage is an average dose and could differ among individuals. Follow your medical professional"s directions for best results.
- Imuran should be taken by mouth with food as an option. In the case of stomach irritation, the patient should take the drug with food to counter the irritation.
- The starting dose for preventing organ rejection should be 3-5mg/kg (oral or IV) every day. This dosing should commence from the time of transplantation or in some instances 1-3 days before transplantation.
- The starting dose for rheumatoid arthritis treatment is 1.0mg/kg once or twice a day. The doses may be increased by 0.5mg/kg every day up to a maximum of 2.5mg/kg every day.
Imuran Side Effects
Imuran may cause some side effects although doctors recommend this medication after judging that it has more benefits than the risk of side effects. The most common side effects are:
- Mild nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
These side effects can often be resolved by reducing the daily dose. Sometimes a patient can experience serious side effects, they are:
- Fatty stools
- Persistent sore throat
- Increased or painful urination
- Shortness of breath
- Stomach pain
- Chest pain or tightness
- Muscle or joint pain
- Fever chills
- Painful blisters on the face, neck, back or arms
- Severe or persistent nausea
Imuran can cause a decrease in white blood cell count leading to an increased risk of infections. All patients taking Imuran require frequent blood test and liver tests to monitor for Imuran side effects.
Drug interactions can affect how Imuran works or increase a patient"s risk for serious side effects. Patients should never take other drugs alongside Imuran without informing a medical professional. The reason is that Imuran can cause serious interactions with other drugs. The following drugs interact with Imuran:
- Allopurinol. The drug increases Imuran levels in the blood and can higher the risk of side effects. Therefore, it is important to reduce Imuran dose for patients taking allopurinol
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.