Azathioprine & The Sun?

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Bethany Says:

Does anyone else notice adverse affects from the sun when taking Azathioprine? I've been taking it for a few months now & when I'm out in the sun I get little itchy bumps. I just started going tanning again for the first time since I began using the drug & each time I've broken out into this terrible red, itchy rash. I've been going tanning for 20 years with no ill affects - and the only thing that has changed is the addition of the Azathioprine...

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Verwon Says:

Well first off, let me state that tanning is a very dangerous activity, it can lead to premature skin aging and skin cancer.

Secondly, most prescription drugs do not mix with the suns rays and heat, most of them carry warnings to avoid or limit sun exposure as much as possible while taking them.

This drug is no exception, it can make you much more senstitive to the effects of the sun, which is just the type of problem you are talking about.

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Bethany.. I have also noticed that when I go to a tanning bed, I get a few bumps & I am itchy for DAYS!!! I've been tanning for a lot of years & have never had this issue. The only thing different is the fact that I am on this pill. I do believe that this medicine has some effect whenever I tan.

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Bethany Says:

Yeah, the drug actually does not list anything at all about sun exposure, and doctors will say that it has not adverse reaction to the sun. However, I notice a very distinct reaction to the sun, with the only possible cause being the Azathioprine. Just wanted to see if anyone else was experiencing it too....

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Betsy Says:

I've been on azathioprine for about 6 years and definitely noticed a sun allergy. Mine is odd. The first time I'm in the sun I get extremely itchy for a few days, but there is no rash or bumps. The only thing that I have found that will relieve the itch is to go an get a benadryl shot. After my first time in the sun, it goes away for the rest of the summer. Has anyone else had this happen?

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Bethany Says:

That is super weird. I get a red, bumpy, itchy rash, but it definitely does decrease as the summer wears on (or as I continue tanning more often - I only go a few months out of the year, so it's like I have to get used to it all over again each year). Too bad so many patients experience the same types of things, but the doctors & prescription companies are still reluctant to admit or accept that it's a side affect, huh? That's a good tip though, thank you. I think I will try taking a Benadryl and see if that helps...

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Jessica K. Says:

That is what happens to me exactly Betsy!!! And I scratch & scratch & scratch & I think that's why I'll get 1 or 2 little bumps, more like hives. But I did notice that the last time I went tanning, I was itchy for days & then the second time I went, I itched a little, but not nearly as bad. I completly relate to everything you ladies have said & it's good to hear that I'm not alone. This was the only place I found any information about azathioprine in relation to tanning. Thanks for all the info!!!

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Doretha Says:

I have been on azathioprine for a few months and this is the real first sunny day we have had and I'm not itchy or have any rashes yet, I'm mostly nautious and weak..anyone else???

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cindy Says:

all Imuran reports STATE that Imuran causes skin cancers!!!!!!! I have been on it for 14 years for Crohns. I now have my 3rd skin cancer on my face. I am going to have to stop this med due to the skin cancer risk. It clearly states that there is a big increase in cancer exp skin cancer and lymphoma..

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Gerry Says:

Has anyone who takes Azathioprine noticed white spots or while lines on their face? I played 2 days of golf and now have this.

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Jessica Diaz Says:

I have been on azath for almost 3 years. The first year, I realized that i couldn't go into a tanning bed because i would get itchy the day after & would stay itchy for about 2 days. Not stop, crazy itching. The first time I was in the sun that year, same thing. Last summer however, i spent so much time in the sun & had no itching. I was in the sun for the first time this year a few days ago & by the next night, I was scratching like a maniac. I have never experienced itching like this. It's enough to drive someone crazy!!!

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Dave Says:

what did you do to stop your itching? same thing happened to me

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Sue Says:

Information that comes with the drug says to avoid prolonged sun exposure on account of an increased risk of skin cancers. I live in the tropics so I wear clothing that covers my skin and use sunscreen and an umbrella. Tanning must be even more dangerous than usual when taking Azathoprine. Why take risks?

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Gerry Says:

Does anyone have big white patches? I have them on my face, neck upper chest and a behind both knees. No rash or bumps and been on it for over a year.

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Moose Says:

Bethany, are you high? There are warnings about sun exposure and skin cancer plastered all over this drug. Good luck with your life!

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Tom Says:

I have been on Azathioprine for the first time from September 2012 (after the UK summer ended). Up until the point of starting AZA I would go out in the sun without sunblock between certain hours to obtain my Vitamin D, because sunblock can block UVB needed for vit D absorption. I would not spend longer than a total of 30minutes ( front/back).
Is it still safe to go out in the sun without sunblock for the amount of time so as to get my Vitamin D for the same period of time now that I am on Azathioprine.


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Debbie Says:
via mobile

Hi. I just started this toxic drug 2 months ago. I live in Canada. I KNOW the sun is nourishing and the best way to absorb vital vitamin D (basic building block of the immune system and lack thereof causes so many diseases). I always am out I the sun in the summers. Except this weekend I was out for the first time all day and I got burnt!! I never burn as I am of mixed heritage. So this drug does make you more sensitive but I would still say moderate sun exposure - 30 mins a day to get the vitamin D outweighs any negative drug issues. It's a catch 22: suppress the immune system with the toxin but build up the immune system with the sun but they say the sun will give you cancer cuz the drug depresses your immune system OMG :( The sun has been nourishing the planet and it's population for thousands of years and all the people living in the tropics are not all dropping dead from skin cancer. It's not the sun that gives you skin cancer, it's your diet - do some research. But this toxic drug messes with your natural defenses so precautions should be taken. I will expose myself for only 30 minutes a day this summer to get my vitamin D. Too bad though cuz I love the sun as the winters here and all the snow are pretty harsh ...

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vicky Says:
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I break out also. If I go out on my deck for an hour or less, I break out. Try using a low sunblock. I use 4 and it helps.

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Eric Says:

hi there, ive been on Imuran for over 5 years now. I never had sun sensitivity in my life prior to Imuran. I noticed now after being out in the sun for over 10 minutes, I get itchy shocks on my skin the very next day. There is no rash or redness or anything. The skin looks normal, but I get these electrocution like shocks to the exposed areas that come and go during the day. It usually lasts for about 24-48 hours before it goes away. I went off Imuran for 1 year and noticed that I would not get the shocks while being out in the sun. I have identified that this drug gives me sun sensitivitiy. Unfortunately I am back on Imuran, and the only way for me to go in the sun without the shocks, is to use sunblock. In closing, if im on Imuran I have to use sunblock in the sun or I get the shocks on my skin. When I'm not im Imuran I am able to be out in the sun with no effects.

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Rosa Says:
via mobile

Hi, before I started on aziathioprine, I was warned off sun beds and sun bathing, the drug seriously diminishes your bodies defence in protecting you from skin cancer, up to 90% decrease. You are also advised to wear a factor 20 or above everyday, I find it hard to believe you would not check into these drugs before putting them in your body, every site with details of aziathioprine clearly states the danger of skin cancer. Do your research, you have internet, doctors, library....

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Jane Says:
via mobile

I am on 100mg of azathioprine a day, and yesterday I sat out in the hot sun (first time this year). I am covered in what I thought was a heat rash! I have never had this happen before taking the azathioprine!
Thank you for your posts, they have reassured me that this is obviously normal and I hope the rash will go away!

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