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Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Imuran/Azathioprine/6-MP » Curious about Imuran/Azathioprine


12-31-2010, 08:16 PM   #1
Domsmom
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Curious about Imuran/Azathioprine

How many people has it worked for vs. how many people have had side effects?

It gave me pancreatitis and from scanning the site, it seems like many people have not been able to stay on it for long. It seems crazy that they are able to prescribe something that causes so many problems, though I do understand that it helps some peopl.
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Bowel Resection May 2014

Current meds: None

Past meds:
Asacol
Pentasa
Prednisone
Imuran
Cipro
Flagyl
01-01-2011, 07:27 AM   #2
Rebecca85
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It works fine for me. I have been on it for 4 months now. In those 4 months, I have not had a single episode of the excrutiating pain that was my main symptom. I have gone from 3-5 BMs a day to 1 or 2. I no longer stick strictly to low residue foods.

In the first week of taking it, I had awful nausea. And in the last 6 weeks, I have been catching way more cold and flu type bugs than before. But those are the only side effects that I have noticed. I pushed through the nausea, and I'm hoping I can push through the bugs, I figure there's only so many strains out there I can catch and then I'll be OK again!

So yes, azathioprine can cause problems, but the same is true of ANY drug, whether it is prescription, OTC or a herbal/natural remedy. The key thing is whether the possible benefits outweigh the possible risks.
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Crohn's in the terminal ileum, dxed Jun '10

125mg azathioprine
4g Pentasa
01-01-2011, 02:58 PM   #3
littlemissh
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Rebecca,
How long did it take to work for you?
01-01-2011, 03:08 PM   #4
Rebecca85
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I could feel the effects within a week or two. But that is considered rediculously quick, I think usually it's 6-8 weeks but can be up to 12.
01-01-2011, 03:30 PM   #5
littlemissh
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I find out if I start azathioprine on 10th jan. I am on reducing dose pred but every time I go below 20mg I get symps back...pain , vomiting, diarrhoea etc.
It sounds ridiculous but am looking forward to starting it...
I am hoping he doesn't suggest Pentasa or similar as I've read it isn't great at maintaining remission particular in small bowel.
I just want to be able to eat again and put a bit of weight on as I am now down to 6.5 stone at 5ft 6.
I hope it works quickly. I also hope consultant not annoyed that I have put my dose back up to 20mg from 15 but had such a crap Xmas I couldn't wait til I saw him on 10th...
01-01-2011, 04:12 PM   #6
Lulu
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I have been on azathioprine for most of 2010 with no side effects what so ever. Having said that though, it appears it wasnt helping either. Was also taking Meslazine with no benifit. Have finally started on Pred and that appears to be bringing the inflammation down. CRP is finally down to 11 from 75 the month before.

I am fortunate in that I dont have any symptoms and can eat anything, this is despite having a rough start with surgery and then an abscess.
01-01-2011, 04:18 PM   #7
rygon
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Im on aza + pentasa. I found pentasa to help with the bloating, but aza has really helped.
Was on 3 x50mg tablets but the nurse brought in down to 2 due to my white blood cells decreasing. Now back on 3 (docs orders) as 2 was enough. Apart from that I havent had any problems
01-01-2011, 08:55 PM   #8
Lydia
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It worked well for me. It induced a remission. I did pick up a couple extra bugs here and there but the fist try at it worked well. The second time it gave me a nagging headache everyday. Not bad enough to take tylenol but annoying none the less.
01-01-2011, 09:07 PM   #9
katiesue1506
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I've been on it for about a year and a half. Started at 150mg adn I'm currently taking 250mg with Humira weekly. It's actually doing a pretty good job but my body is learning to attack around it so the doc is going to put me on Allopurinol next month and decrease my Imuran dosage.

I haven't had any side effects and I would think I'd be a good candidate since I'm on such a high dose.

Please note though when you do start it, it doesn't kick in to full effect for 3-4 months, it does take time. I wouldn't expect an amazing effect from it the week after. This is why many docs start you off on Pred and Imuran so the Imuran can kick in.
02-04-2011, 02:00 PM   #10
spingirl
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Hmmm...I am on Prednesone and Aza and I am so afraid that without the prednesone the Aza isn't going to work...I also take Asacol. Do any of these cause bloating? I feel very very bloated...I look 8 months pregnant. I am hoping after I stop the prednesone in 3 weeks that the bloating will go away...or is it the Aza causing it? If I am not running to the bathroom 15 times a day...why am I still so bloated?
02-06-2011, 04:12 PM   #11
Sarac8275
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I'm believe I'm right in thinking that this is the name of the drug that my GI doc mentioned possibly trying me on if Humira didn't work for me (I just tried Cimzia, did no good). But he seemed very hesitant about putting a "young woman of the age of 23" on it. Maybe that has to do with the side effects since apparently they can get pretty rough? He said that he's had several patients that are doing very well on it though.
02-22-2011, 07:34 AM   #12
vickyhunter
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I started Azathioprine in 2005 and I have been in remission since. (having a little flare up now but I'm on the road to recovery, azathiprine dose has been put up to 100mg from 75mg and I'm on 30mg steroids)
It's seriously been wonderful, my mum is on it too (I have Crohn's, she has UC)
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02-22-2011, 08:12 AM   #13
spingirl
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Well, I just went from the 10mg (weaning from 30MG) daily to every other day of the Pred. First day without it and had too many BM's. Getting a bit looser too. I am so sad. I thought this was going to work with the Aza. I thought it was the Aza but I guess the 10mg's of pred is what was keeping me on track. I am just so sad right now. I am on the pred today...I know many have 5mgs pred...I wonder why my doc said every other day of the 10...anyone else wean like this? I feel like I don't want to eat now so I won't go...I just really wanted this Aza/Asacol combo to work. I'm on 100mgs now of the Aza. I wonder if this is normal and it just takes time? Or is this a sign of it not working...???
02-22-2011, 08:44 AM   #14
Rebecca85
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Spingirl- how long have you been on the aza? It can take 3-4 months to begin working fully. Even though I was one of the lucky ones who got symptom relief very quickly, my ESR didn't drop below 20 till I had been on it for 4 months (don't know how long my CRP took to drop). So if you've been on aza less than 4 months, it could still need time to kick in. If you've been on longer, maybe it's just not working for you, or maybe the dose isn't high enough (it depends on your weight, I weigh about 134 pounds and my GI says I could go up to 150mg if the 100mg wasn't working).
02-22-2011, 09:46 AM   #15
spingirl
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I am about 140 ish in weight...and its only been about a month...but I felt so much better as soon as I added the Aza to the Pred...right away...I was even doing so well on the 10mg...but...we shall see. Maybe the Aza still needs time. I am just so nervous it won't work. I am not sure what the ESR and CRP is. What is all of this about? My GI doesn't tell me much. I know I went for bloodwork. Still waiting for the results. Was supopsed to get them back almost 2 weeks ago and GI went on vacation and the nurse practitioner is useless...so hopefully things are going ok...have an appointment on Wed. He did prescribe 150mg of Aza but told me to take the 100mg for now. I just want to be off the pred so I can shed some of this belly fat. I look 8 months preggers. Not kidding.
02-27-2011, 09:56 AM   #16
littlemissh
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Hi spingirl,
I have been on aza since 10th january and was on 20mg pred at that point. Every time before that when I went below 20mg my symptoms recurred.
After 4 weeks on aza my GI reduced my pred to 17.5mg and increased aza and the intention is to decrease by 2.5mg pred every 4 weeks and incresae aza top 2.5mg/kg over the next few weeks if tolerated. I am now on 2mg/kg aza ( usual dose aza is 1 to 2.5mg/kg ). This plan is working very well and I have had not had a flare of symptoms with my pred reduction.

I cannot go by CRP/ESR which are blood inflammation markers as they have never been raised in me(like about 1/3 to 1/4 of crohns sufferers never have raised inflammatory markers) but my platelets have reduced and my blood count has remained stable whereas it was dropping rapidly before.

It may be you have dropped your pred before the aza has had time to work. Everyone is different, some can reduce the pred 5mg every week and be ok and some can't. AZA does take 2-3 months to show effect in many people and up to 6 months for full effect.

Although you are not keen on pred it is better to reduce more slowly perhaps than keep having to go back on it and therefore be on it longer in the end. I hope all that makes sense.
02-27-2011, 10:07 AM   #17
spingirl
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I know...Pred is a necessary evil...I am just not happy about all the extra weight. On 5mgs Pred I am doing ok...yesterday I had only 1 BM...which is awesome...today its already 4 adn only 10:00AM...but I figure I am all backed up. I have strictures so I am thinking that has something to do with things too...although i am hoping that the new meds will help the strictures and I will not need to be operated on...that is the plan anyhow. We shall see. I did just get a bad cold but it could be my allergies. Now I have a little pimple between my lip and nose from all the blowing which is where I have had infections before...so now I am watching that...I wish it was Monday...hate to call the doctor for just this little thing...but I know how fast it can spread...it used to start with a cold sore though so many this time a pimple is just a pimple...I just feel like a nervous Nelly all the time but...thanks for the info littlemissh about the 6 months to fully work. It has worked some...just not fully and its only been a month so...I won't give up yet! YEesterday...with only one BM I thought...geeze I might be able to actually ski with my kids this year...my son would love that...on the bunny hill but even still...its not like you can get off skis, and into the bathroom in a minute's time... I might just put on some depends (just in case) and go for it.
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