Azathioprine Side Effects in Patients with Ocular Manifestations of Behçet’s Syndrome

Document Type : Original Article


1 Clinical Research Development Center, Shahid Beheshti Hospital, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Azadegan Sq., Shahid Beheshti Blvd, Qom, Iran

2 Student Research Committee, School of Medicine, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran

3 Bechet's Disease Unit, Rheumatology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences. Shariati Hospital, Tehran, Iran

4 Behcet’s Disease Chair, National Elite Foundation, Tehran, Iran.

5 Bechet's Disease Unit, Rheumatology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences. Shariati Hospital, Tehran, Iran

6 Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

7 Student Research Committee, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: Behçet’s syndrome (BS) is a systemic vasculitis characterized by skin involvement, uveitis, and arthritis. Azathioprine is an effective therapy among other immunosuppressive drugs for this disease but there is no clear data about all aspects of its side effects in BS patients with ocular manifestations. we want to determine the prevalence and types of adverse effects related with azathioprine in ocular BS patients. Methods: the study is  cross-sectional with 165 confirmed diagnosis of BS patients who had ocular involvement. Data were collected retrospectively with medical records of the BS clinic. Results: Of 165 enrolled patients, Adverse events of treatment with azathioprine occurred in 11 patients (6.67%). side effects included: elevated of liver enzymes in four patients (2.43%), hypersensitive reaction in 2 patients (1.21%), leukopenia in 2 patients (1.21%), nausea in 1 patient (0.61%), skin tumor in 1 patient (0.61%), and t pancreatitis and hepatitis in one patient (0.61). Conclusion: azathioprine reduced the rate of adverse effects and resolution of the ocular manifestations in patients with BS and has few side effects so, it is good choice to treat patients with BS.


This study investigated the types of side effects of azathioprine and the prevalence of each in patients with ocular BS. According to the results, administration of azathioprine improves the symptoms and complications of ocular involvement in Behcet's disease with low side effects and can be a suitable choice in treatment by rheumatologists. Of course, these few complications should be considered with periodic evaluation of patients.


Editor: SAA. Safavi-Naini (Conflict of interest: None)
Reviewers: SN. Salehi (Conflict of interest: None), N. Bineshfar (Conflict of Intrest: None)

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