Azathioprine, sold as Imuran or Azasan, is a chemotherapy drug used more for autoimmune disease treatment than for cancer. It inhibits the synthesis necessary for cell growth associated with autoimmune disorders, such as SLE.
Mild side effects of azathioprine may include hair loss, a rash or upset stomach and diarrhea. Notify your doctor if you experience fever, pain with urination, jaundice, unusual weakness, rapid heart rate, easy bleeding or flu-like symptoms. For difficulty breathing, hives, or swelling of your throat, lips or tongue, seek emergency help immediately.
Possible risks associated with taking azathioprine include a decrease in your body's ability to fight infections, cancer and, if you are pregnant, harm to your unborn baby.