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Imuran is a medicine used in combination with other medicines to help prevent organ rejection in people who have had a kidney transplant. Imuran is also used to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (a type of arthritis that involves inflammation of the joints).
How does this medication work?
Your immune system is your body's defense against things that can cause infection and disease. Unfortunately, it cannot tell the difference between a harmful virus or bacteria and your new organ, so its natural response is to reject it. Imuran works by stopping your immune system from rejecting your new organ.
Imuran is also thought to work by stopping your immune system from affecting your joints, thereby improving your symptoms.
What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?
What: Imuran may extend survival in people receiving a transplant, and may improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Imuran exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.
How do I know it is working?
Your healthcare provider may order tests regularly to check the amount of Imuran in your body and may ask you questions from time to time to assess how well this medication is working.
The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.
Imuran can increase your risk of developing lymphoma (a type of cancer involving cells of the immune system, called lymphocytes) and other types of cancers (including skin cancer). Certain types of lymphoma have also occurred in people with inflammatory bowel disease.
More common side effects may include: decrease in white blood cell counts, infections.
Less common side effects may include:
Stomach or intestinal problems, with symptoms such as severe nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, rash, or fever.
Imuran may also cause low red blood cell or platelet (a type of blood cell that forms clots to help stop bleeding) counts, or serious infections.
Do not take Imuran if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.
Do not take Imuran if you are being treated for rheumatoid arthritis and are pregnant.
Do not take Imuran if you have rheumatoid arthritis and had previous treatment with certain medicines (such as cyclophosphamide, chlorambucil, or melphalan).
Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Imuran. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney problems, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.
Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your weight, and may adjust your dose as needed, until the desired effect is achieved.
If you have kidney impairment or are taking certain other medicines, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.
Take Imuran exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Imuran without first talking to your healthcare provider.
Your healthcare provider may perform periodic blood counts. Tell your healthcare provider if you experience any unusual bleeding or bruising.
Your healthcare provider may perform a certain blood test called TPMT, and may adjust the dose of Imuran appropriately.
Do not expose yourself to sunlight and ultraviolet light, such as tanning beds or sunlamps. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen.
If Imuran is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Imuran with the following: allopurinol, blood pressure/heart medications known as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (such as enalapril or lisinopril), mesalazine, olsalazine, ribavirin, sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, sulfasalazine, or warfarin.
Imuran can harm your unborn baby if you take it during pregnancy, and can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Imuran. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
If you miss a dose of Imuran, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.
Store at room temperature, in a dry place. Protect from light.
In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222
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