ISSN 2398-2985      

Azathioprine

4ferrets

Synonym(s): Imuran


Introduction

Name

  • Azathioprine.

Class of drug

  • Immunosuppressive agent.

Description

Chemical name

  • 6-[(1-methyl-4-nitro-1H-imidazol-5-yl)thio]-1H-purine.

Molecular formula

  • C9H7N7O2S.
  • Derived from 6-mercaptopurine.

Molecular weight

  • 277.26.

Physical properties

  • Azathioprine occurs as an odorless, pale yellow powder that is insoluble in water and slightly soluble in alcohol. Azathioprine sodium powder for injection occurs as a bright yellow, amorphous mass.

​Storage requirements

  • Azathioprine tablets should be stored at room temperature in well closed containers and protected from light.
  • The sodium powder for injection should be stored at room temperature and protected from light. It is reportedly stable at neutral or acidic pH, but will hydrolyze to mercaptopurine in alkaline solutions.
  • After reconstituting, the injection should be used within 24 h as no preservative is present.

Uses

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Indications

  • It is used in ferrets to treat inflammatory bowel disease and eosinophilic gastroenteritis.

Administration

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Pharmacokinetics

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Precautions

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Interactions

with other drugs

ACE-inhibitors
  • May cause additional bone marrow suppression (severe leukopenia).
Allopurinol
  • Decreases the metabolism of azathioprine.
Aminosalicylates
  • Increase risk of azathioprine toxicity.
Warfarin
  • Potential for reduced anticoagulant effect.
Drugs affecting myelopoiesis, eg trimethoprim/sulfa, cyclophosphamide
  • Increased potential for hematologic toxicity.

Adverse Reactions

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Malka S et al (2010) Immune-mediated pure red cell aplasia in a domestic ferret. JAVMA 237 (6), 695-700 PubMed

Other sources of information

  • Meredith A (2015) Ed. Small Animal Formulary. Part B: Exotic Pets. 9th edn. BSAVA, Quedgeley, UK
  • Plumb D C (2008) Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook. 6th edn. Blackwell Publishing, USA. pp 1120.
  • Tennant B (1999) Small Animal Formulary. 3rd edn. BSAVA, UK.

Organisation(s)

  • National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) Compendium of Data Sheets for Animal Medicines. Website: www.noahcompendium.co.uk.
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