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Imuran vs. Prednisone

Are Imuran and Prednisone the Same Thing?

Imuran (azathioprine) is used to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Imuran is also used to prevent the body from rejecting a transplanted kidney.

Prednisone is also used to treat or manage many conditions, including endocrine disorders, collagen diseases, dermatologic diseases, allergies, ophthalmic (eye) diseases, respiratory diseases, hematologic disorders, neoplastic diseases (cancers), edematous states, and gastrointestinal diseases.

Imuran and prednisone belong to different drug classes. Imuran is an immunosuppressive antimetabolite and prednisone is a corticosteroid.

Side effects of Imuran and prednisone that are similar include nausea or vomiting.

Side effects of Imuran that are different from prednisone include upset stomach, diarrhea, loss of appetite, hair loss, or skin rash.

Side effects of prednisone that are different from Imuran include headache, acne, thinning skin, weight gain, restlessness, and trouble sleeping (insomnia).

Both Imuran and prednisone may interact with cyclosporine.

Imuran may also interact with allopurinol, mercaptopurine, methotrexate, blood thinners, olsalazine, sulfasalazine, sulfamethoxasole, trimethoprim, or ACE inhibitors.

Prednisone may also interact with potassium-depleting agents (e.g., amphotericin B, diuretics), macrolide antibiotics, anticholinesterase, anticoagulants, antidiabetic drugs, isoniazid, bupropion, cholestyramine, digitalis glycosides, estrogens (including oral contraceptives), fluoroquinolones, barbiturates, phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampin, azole antifungals, ritonavir, indinavir, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), quetiapine, skin tests, thalidomide, and live or inactivated vaccines.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Imuran?

Common side effects of Imuran include:

  • upset stomach,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • loss of appetite,
  • hair loss, or
  • skin rash.

Tell your doctor if you experience unlikely but serious side effects of Imuran including:

  • muscle loss,
  • hair loss,
  • cold/numbness in the fingers,
  • mouth sores,
  • difficult/painful swallowing, or
  • greasy stools.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Prednisone?

Common side effects of Prednisone include:

  • headache,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • acne, thinning skin,
  • weight gain,
  • restlessness, and
  • trouble sleeping.

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of prednisone including

What Is Imuran?

Imuran (azathioprine) is an immunosuppressive antimetabolite used to prevent the body from rejecting a transplanted kidney. Imuran is also used to treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Imuran is available in generic form.

What Is Prednisone?

Prednisone is a glucocorticoid indicated to treat or manage many conditions, including endocrine disorders, rheumatic disorders, collagen diseases, dermatologic diseases, allergies, ophthalmic (eye) diseases, respiratory diseases, hematologic disorders, neoplastic diseases (cancers), edematous states, and gastrointestinal diseases. Prednisone tablets are available in generic form.

SLIDESHOW

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis See Slideshow

What Drugs Interact With Imuran?

Imuran may interact with other medicines that weaken the immune system.

Imuran may interact with allopurinol, methotrexate, blood thinners, olsalazine, sulfasalazine, sulfamethoxasole, trimethoprim, or ACE inhibitors.

What Drugs Interact With Prednisone?

Prednisone may interact with diuretics (water pills), blood thinners, cyclosporine, insulin or oral diabetes medications, rifampin, azole antifungals, or seizure medications.

Prednisone may also interact with antibiotics, anticholinesterase, isoniazid, bupropion, cholestyramine, cyclosporine, digitalis glycosides, estrogens (including oral contraceptives), barbiturates, ritonavir, indinavir, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), quetiapine, skin tests, thalidomide, and live or inactivated vaccines.

Following prolonged therapy, withdrawal of corticosteroids such as dexamethasone or prednisone may result in symptoms of the corticosteroid withdrawal syndrome including muscle or joint pain and feeling unwell (malaise).

How Should Imuran Be Taken?

The dose of Imuran to prevent transplant rejection and minimize toxicity varies. The initial dose is usually 3 to 5 mg/kg daily, beginning at the time of transplant. It is usually given as a single daily dose on the day of, and in some cases 1 to 3 days before, transplantation. Maintenance levels of 1 to 3 mg/kg daily are usually possible. For rheumatoid arthritis, the initial dose is approx. 1.0 mg/kg (50 to 100 mg) given as a single dose or twice-daily. Maximum dose is 2.5 mg/kg per day.

How Should Prednisone Be Taken?

The initial dosage of prednisone may vary from 5 mg to 60 mg per day, depending on the specific disease entity being treated.

QUESTION

The term arthritis refers to stiffness in the joints. See Answer
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References
Dailymed. Imuran Product Information.
https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=aaa6c540-4c84-48a0-939c-cd423134fa2a&audience=consumer
FDA. Prednisone Product Information.
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/202020s000lbl.pdf
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