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Azathioprine

Mechanism of action

It is a purine nucleoside analog (competitive inhibitor of purine synthesis), which interferes with adenine and guanine ribonucleotides by suppression of inosmic acid synthesis. This in turn interferes with DNA replication & RNA transcription. Azathioprine is a prodrug which is metabolized in liver and converted to its active form 6-mercaptopurine.It is more effective in preventing proliferation of T cells than B cells. Although, antibody production is unaffected.

Indication

Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease, sympathetic ophthalmia, Behcet’s Disease, Wegener’s granulomatosis in remission, chronic iridocyclitis, scleritis, serpiginous choroiditis.

Dosage

1.5-2.0 mg/kg/Day; given as single dose or twice a day schedule

Side effects

Bone marrow suppression with leucopenia & thrombocytopenia, Hepatotoxicity

Monitoring

If total WBC count falls below 3,500 cells/mm3 or platelet count falls below 1 lakh /mm3, dosage of the drug should be adjusted or stopped.

Statutory Warning

Materials / Informations provided here are for educational purpose only ; and not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment