Azathioprine in Treatment of Eczema

Azathioprine has been used in patients with chronic autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and eczema.

To suppress the itchy feeling and flare-ups of eczema on the body, medical professionals have numerous treatments used to stop these symptoms. One treatment can involve the use of immunosuppressant medications. These medications alter the substance that is attacking the immune system, so the body has a chance to fight against any attacker.
Azathioprine (also known as Azasan and Imuran) works like an immunosuppressant. Also, it works as treatment after an organ transplantation surgery.


  • Adults: Take one or two tablets after meals as directed by a physician.  It is recommended to take this medication at the same time every day.
  • No research available for pediatric use.

Side Effects

Some serious side effects can occur when taking this so medical professionals must be notified if the patient develops the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Body weakness
  • Muscular pain


  • Notify medical professionals about taking other medications, supplements, or herbal remedies that can affect how the drug is absorbed in the body.
  • Avoid exposure to sunlight or any methods of exposure to UV light or phototherapy.
  • Patients undergoing surgery (including dental surgery) should notify a medical professional about taking Azathioprine.
  • Patients must inform their doctor about receiving vaccinations while taking Azathioprine.
  • Patients should notify their doctor if they have an infection.
  • If hospitalization is required, patients must inform the staff about taking Azathioprine because it could delay necessary treatment.


Azathioprine has been effective in suppressing the immune system, but there is no research to correlate its effectiveness as a treatment for eczema.


Since there is no true evidence that this drug is an effective treatment for eczema, there are some considerations to check into before using this medication. The cons of this drug include:

  • Azathioprine has been linked to the development of cancers that include lymphomas and skin cancer.
  • Young males and teenage boys, who use Azathioprine to treat Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, are at a higher risk of developing TNF (tumor necrosis factor) in their body. The TNF blocker could become the precursor to the creation of cancerous cells, which are found in lymphoma and other cell cancers.
  • Patients that have taken it also have an increased risk of developing a serious and sometimes fatal blood infection. Patients that are predisposed to an inherited blood disease should be tested to make sure there will be no interaction with Azathioprine.

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