Last update May 1, 2019

Azathioprine

Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

Even though it is metabolized to mercaptopurine, just tiny amounts of this drug have been found in breast milk (4 - 18 micrograms/liter).

Among several breastfed infants of mothers who were treated with Azathioprine failed to be detected in the blood nor side effects were found. Long-term infectious diseases were not more common among exposed infants.

Exposition would be minimized if nursing is resumed 3 hours after last dose.


See below the information of these related products:

  • Mercaptopurine ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)
  • Thioguanine ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)

Alternatives

We do not have alternatives for Azathioprine since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Azathioprine in other languages or writings:

Group

Azathioprine belongs to this group or family:

Tradenames

Main tradenames from several countries containing Azathioprine in its composition:

Pharmacokinetics

Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 47 (27 - 85) %
Molecular weight 277 daltons
Protein Binding 30 %
VD 0.9 l/Kg
pKa 8.65 -
Tmax 1 - 2 hours
0.6 - 5 hours
Theoretical Dose < 0.008 mg/Kg/d
Relative Dose 0.05 - 0.6 %
Ped.Relat.Dose 0.07 - 0.3 %

References

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  2. Sammaritano LR, Bermas BL, Chakravarty EE, Chambers C, Clowse MEB, Lockshin MD, Marder W, Guyatt G, Branch DW, Buyon J, Christopher-Stine L, Crow-Hercher R, Cush J, Druzin M, Kavanaugh A, Laskin CA, Plante L, Salmon J, Simard J, Somers EC, Steen V, Tedeschi SK, et al. 2020 American College of Rheumatology Guideline for the Management of Reproductive Health in Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020 Apr;72(4):529-556. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  3. Koh YP, Tian EA, Oon HH. New changes in pregnancy and lactation labelling: Review of dermatologic drugs. Int J Womens Dermatol. 2019 May 16;5(4):216-226. Abstract
  4. Mahadevan U, Robinson C, Bernasko N, Boland B, Chambers C, Dubinsky M, Friedman S, Kane S, Manthey J, Sauberan J, Stone J, Jain R. Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Pregnancy Clinical Care Pathway: A Report From the American Gastroenterological Association IBD Parenthood Project Working Group. Gastroenterology. 2019 Apr;156(5):1508-1524. Abstract
  5. Bermejo F, Aguas M, Chaparro M, Domènech E, Echarri A, García-Planella E, Guerra I, Gisbert JP, López-Sanromán A; en representación de GETECCU.. Recommendations of the Spanish Working Group on Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (GETECCU) on the use of thiopurines in inflammatory bowel disease. Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 Mar;41(3):205-221. Abstract
  6. Bitencourt N, Bermas BL. Pharmacological Approach to Managing Childhood-Onset Systemic Lupus Erythematosus During Conception, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding. Paediatr Drugs. 2018 Dec;20(6):511-521. Abstract
  7. Gilhus NE, Hong Y. Maternal myasthenia gravis represents a risk for the child through autoantibody transfer, immunosuppressive therapy and genetic influence. Eur J Neurol. 2018 Dec;25(12):1402-1409. Abstract
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  12. Flint J, Panchal S, Hurrell A, van de Venne M, Gayed M, Schreiber K, Arthanari S, Cunningham J, Flanders L, Moore L, Crossley A, Purushotham N, Desai A, Piper M, Nisar M, Khamashta M, Williams D, Gordon C, Giles I; BSR and BHPR Standards, Guidelines and Audit Working Group. BSR and BHPR guideline on prescribing drugs in pregnancy and breastfeeding-Part I: standard and biologic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and corticosteroids. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2016 Sep;55(9):1693-7. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  13. Götestam Skorpen C, Hoeltzenbein M, Tincani A, Fischer-Betz R, Elefant E, Chambers C, da Silva J, Nelson-Piercy C, Cetin I, Costedoat-Chalumeau N, Dolhain R, Förger F, Khamashta M, Ruiz-Irastorza G, Zink A, Vencovsky J, Cutolo M, Caeyers N, Zumbühl C, Østensen M. The EULAR points to consider for use of antirheumatic drugs before pregnancy, and during pregnancy and lactation. Ann Rheum Dis. 2016 May;75(5):795-810. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  14. Shah S, Verma P. Overview of Pregnancy in Renal Transplant Patients. Int J Nephrol. 2016;2016:4539342. Abstract
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  18. Huang VW, Chang HJ, Kroeker KI, Goodman KJ, Hegadoren KM, Dieleman LA, Fedorak RN. Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Varies Widely: A Need for Further Education. Can J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016;2016:6193275. Epub 2016 Sep 20. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
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  22. Mahadevan U, Matro R. Care of the Pregnant Patient With Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Aug;126(2):401-12. Abstract
  23. Durst JK, Rampersad RM. Pregnancy in Women With Solid-Organ Transplants: A Review. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2015 Abstract
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  32. de Meij TG, Jharap B, Kneepkens CM, van Bodegraven AA, de Boer NK; Dutch Initiative on Crohn and Colitis.. Long-term follow-up of children exposed intrauterine to maternal thiopurine therapy during pregnancy in females with inflammatory bowel disease. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Jul;38(1):38-43. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
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  34. Mahadevan U, Martin CF, Sandler RS, Kane SV, Dubinsky M, Lewis JD, Sandborn WJ, Sands BE. PIANO: a 1000 patient prospective registry of pregnancy outcomes in women with IBD exposed to immunomodulators and biologic therapy. Gastroenterology. 2012;142 (5 Suppl 1):149. Abstract 865. Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  35. Habal FM, Huang VW. Review article: a decision-making algorithm for the management of pregnancy in the inflammatory bowel disease patient. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  36. Selinger CP, Leong RW, Lal S. Pregnancy related issues in inflammatory bowel disease: evidence base and patients' perspective. World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  37. Makol A, Wright K, Amin S. Rheumatoid arthritis and pregnancy: safety considerations in pharmacological management. Drugs. 2011 Abstract
  38. Angelberger S, Reinisch W, Messerschmidt A, Miehsler W, Novacek G, Vogelsang H, Dejaco C. Long-term follow-up of babies exposed to azathioprine in utero and via breastfeeding. J Crohns Colitis. 2011 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  39. Van Assche G, Dignass A, Reinisch W, van der Woude CJ, Sturm A, De Vos M, Guslandi M, Oldenburg B, Dotan I, Marteau P, Ardizzone A, Baumgart DC, D'Haens G, Gionchetti P, Portela F, Vucelic B, Söderholm J, Escher J, Koletzko S, Kolho KL, Lukas M, Mottet C, et al. The second European evidence-based Consensus on the diagnosis and management of Crohn's disease: Special situations. J Crohns Colitis. 2010 Abstract Full text (in our servers)
  40. van der Woude CJ, Kolacek S, Dotan I, Oresland T, Vermeire S, Munkholm P, Mahadevan U, Mackillop L, Dignass A; European Crohn's Colitis Organisation (ECCO). European evidenced-based consensus on reproduction in inflammatory bowel disease. J Crohns Colitis. 2010 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  41. Gisbert JP. Safety of immunomodulators and biologics for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2010 May;16(5):881-95. Abstract
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  46. Werner M, Björnsson E, Prytz H, Lindgren S, Almer S, Broomé U, Wallerstedt S, Sandberg-Gertzén H, Hultcrantz R, Sangfeldt P, Nilsson J, Danielsson A. Autoimmune hepatitis among fertile women: strategies during pregnancy and breastfeeding? Scand J Gastroenterol. 2007 Aug;42(8):986-91. Abstract
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  50. Mottet C, Juillerat P, Pittet V, Gonvers JJ, Froehlich F, Vader JP, Michetti P, Felley C. Pregnancy and breastfeeding in patients with Crohn's disease. Digestion. 2007 Abstract
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  53. Kane SV, Present DH. Metabolites to immunomodulators are not detected in breast milk. Am J Gastroenterol. 2004;99 (10):246-7. Abstract 761. doi:10.1111/j.1572-0241.2004.001_1.x
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  57. Grekas DM, Vasiliou SS, Lazarides AN. Immunosuppressive therapy and breast-feeding after renal transplantation. Nephron. 1984 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  58. Coulam CB, Moyer TP, Jiang NS, Zincke H. Breast-feeding after renal transplantation. Transplant Proc. 1982 Abstract

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