azathioprine and Alcohol

{Drug} and Alcohol

  1. Authored by Philippa Gold Edited by Hugh Soames Reviewed by Michael Por, MD
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What happens when you mix azathioprine and alcohol


Side effects of mixing alcohol and azathioprine can include


  • Dizziness
  • Sluggishness
  • Drowsiness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Palpitations
  • Respiratory Depression
  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Death


Interestingly, it is impossible to tell what effect azathioprine and alcohol will have on an individual due to their own unique genetic make up and tolerance. It is never advisable to mix azathioprine and alcohol due to the chances of mild, moderate and severe side effects. If you are having an adverse reaction from mixing azathioprine and Alcohol it’s imperative that you head to your local emergency room.


Alcohol and azathioprine


Alcohol and azathioprine creates a that has different effects depending on the dose: many people feel stimulated and strengthened at low doses of alcohol and azathioprine and even mixing a small amount of azathioprine and alcohol is not recommended.


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Mixing alcohol and azathioprine


The primary effect of alcohol is influenced by an increase in the concentration of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which is found in the spinal cord and brain stem, and by a reduction in its effect on neuronal transmitters that are excitatory. When alcohol is combined with azathioprine this primary effect is exaggerated, increasing the strain on the body with unpredictable results.


Alcohol and azathioprine affects dopamine levels in the brain, causing the body both mental and physical distress. Larger amounts of azathioprine and alcohol have a greater adverse effect yet leading medic al recommendation is that smaller does can be just as harmful and there is no way of knowing exactly how azathioprine and alcohol is going to affect an individual before they take it.


Taking azathioprine and alcohol together


People who take alcohol and azathioprine together will experience the effects of both substances. Technically, the specific effects and reactions that occur due to frequent use of azathioprine and alcohol depend on whether you consume more alcohol in relation to azathioprine or more azathioprine in relation to alcohol.


The use of significantly more azathioprine with alcohol will lead to sedation and lethargy, as well as the synergistic effects resulting from a mixture of the two medications.


People who take both alcohol and azathioprine may experience effects such as:


  • reduced motor reflexes from alcohol and azathioprine
  • dizziness from alcohol and azathioprine
  • nausea and vomiting of the azathioprine


Some people may also experience more euphoria, depression, irritability or all three. A combination of alcohol and azathioprine leads to significantly more lethargy which can easily tip over into coma, respiratory depression seizures and death.  Be cautious about continuing on with your daily life as a functioning alcoholic as it can disguise some of the more serious health impacts.

Alcohol Vs azathioprine


Taking azathioprine in sufficient quantities increases the risk of a heart failure. Additionally, people under the influence of azathioprine and alcohol may have difficulty forming new memories. With alcohol vs azathioprine in an individual’s system they become confused and do not understand their environment. Due to the synergistic properties of azathioprine when mixed with alcohol it can lead to confusion, anxiety, depression and other mental disorders. Chronic use of azathioprine and alcohol can lead to permanent changes in the brain.  Stopping Alcohol Consumption can cause alcohol withdrawals while stopping azathioprine can also cause withdrawals.


azathioprine Vs alcohol


Studies investigating the effects of drugs such as azathioprine and alcohol have shown that the potential for parasomnia (performing tasks in sleep) is dramatically increased when azathioprine and alcohol are combined. Severe and dangerous side effects can occur when medications are mixed in the system, and sleep disorders are a common side effect of taking alcohol and azathioprine together.


When a small to medium amount of alcohol is combined with azathioprine, sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can occur. According to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) most ER visits and hospitalizations caused by too much alcohol were associated with other substances such as azathioprine.


azathioprine and alcohol


Azathioprine (AZA), sold under the brand name Imuran, among others, is an immunosuppressive medication. It is used in rheumatoid arthritis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and systemic lupus erythematosus, and in kidney transplants to prevent rejection. It is listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a group 1 carcinogen (carcinogenic to humans). It is taken by mouth or injected into a vein.

Common side effects include bone-marrow suppression and vomiting. Bone-marrow suppression is especially common in people with a genetic deficiency of the enzyme thiopurine S-methyltransferase. Other serious risk factors include an increased risk of certain cancers. Use during pregnancy may result in harm to the baby. Azathioprine is in the purine analogue and antimetabolite family of medications. It works via 6-thioguanine to disrupt the making of RNA and DNA by cells.



How long after taking azathioprine can I drink alcohol


To avoid any residual toxicity it is advisable to wait until the azathioprine has totally cleared your system before drinking alcohol, even in small quantities.


Overdose on azathioprine and alcohol


Overdose on azathioprine and alcohol is alarmingly common and can often be fatal. In the case of Overdose on azathioprine or if you are worried after mixing azathioprine and alcohol call a first responder or proceed to the nearest Emergency Room immediately.


If you are worried about someone who has taken too much azathioprine or mixed alcohol with azathioprine then call a first responder or take them to get immediate medical help. The best place for you or someone you care about in the case of a medical emergency is under medical supervision. Be sure to tell the medical team that there is a mix of azathioprine and alcohol. The combination of alcohol and azathioprine increases the likelihood that a person would be transferred to intensive care.


If you take azathioprine, and also smoke weed or take MDMA, you can research the effects of azathioprine and weed , azathioprine and Cocaine as well as azathioprine and MDMA here.


To find the effects of other drugs and weed refer to our Weed and Other Drugs Index A to L or our Weed and Other Drugs Index M-Z

Or you could find what you are looking for in our Alcohol and Other Drugs index A to L or Alcohol and Other Drugs index M to Z or our MDMA and Other Drugs Index A to L or MDMA and Other Drugs Index M to Z. or Cocaine and Other Drugs index A to L or Cocaine and Other Drugs index M to Z

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If you are drinking too much alcohol it may be worth understanding if you are suffering from alcoholism.  If you are please consider reaching out for help.


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azathioprine and Alcohol

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