Azathioprine is used to prevent organ rejection following kidney transplant and to treat
severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis.
Interactions with Vitamins, Herbs, and Foods
In some cases, an herb or supplement may appear in more than one category, which may seem
contradictory. For clarification, read the full article for details about the summarized
| May Be Beneficial: Depletion or
interference—The medication may deplete or interfere with the absorption or
function of the nutrient. Taking these nutrients may help replenish them.
|Side effect reduction/prevention
An asterisk (*) next to an item in the summary indicates that the
interaction is supported only by weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific
Interaction with Herbs
People receiving dialysis for kidney failure often have low blood levels of folic acid.
However, folic acid blood levels should return to normal following kidney transplant. A
preliminary study of people taking azathioprine to prevent organ rejection revealed that blood
levels of folic acid remained well below those of individuals not taking the drug. The highest
blood folic acid level was observed in an individual who had not taken azathioprine for two
years.1 Controlled studies are needed to determine whether people taking
azathioprine should supplement with folic acid.
1. Zazgornik J, Druml W, Balcke P, et al. Diminished serum folic acid
levels in renal transplant recipients. Clin Nephrol 1982;18:306–10.