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Can azathioprine affect other medications and treatments?

Azathioprine may be prescribed along with other drugs in treating your condition. However, some drugs can interact with azathioprine (e.g. allopurinol, which is used to treat gout). Check with your doctor before starting any new medications, and remember to mention you're on azathioprine if you're treated by anyone other than your usual rheumatology team.

It's usually recommended that you avoid live vaccines, such as yellow fever, if you're on azathioprine. However, sometimes a live vaccine may be necessary – for example, rubella vaccination in women of childbearing age.

If you're offered shingles vaccination (Zostavax), you should speak to your rheumatology team – you may be able to have the shingles vaccine if you're on a low dose of azathioprine.

Pneumococcal vaccine (which gives protection against the commonest cause of pneumonia) and yearly flu vaccines are recommended.


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