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Azathioprine, an immunosuppressive antimetabolite, is available in tablet
form for oral administration.
Each scored tablet contains
50 mg azathioprine and the inactive
ingredients anhydrous lactose,
starch (corn), povidone, magnesium
stearate, and stearic acid.
Azathioprine is chemically 6-((1-methyl-4-nitroimidazol-5-yl)thio)purine.
Its molecular weight is 277.26.
It is an imidazolyl derivative
of 6-mercaptopurine and many of its biological eftects are similar to
those of the parent compound.
Azathioprine is insoluble
in water, but may be dissolved with addition of one molar
equivalent of alkali. The
of azathioprine is sufficiently
soluble to make a 10 mg/mL water
solution which is stable
for 24 hours at 59º to 77º F (15º to 25º C). Azathioprine
is stable in solution at
neutral or acid
pH but hydrolysis
to mercaptopurine occurs
in excess sodium hydroxide
(0.1N), especially on warming. Conversion to mercaptopurine also occurs
in the presence of sulfhydryl
compounds such as cysteine, glutathione
and hydrogen sulfide.