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Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Imuran/Azathioprine/6-MP » Azathioprine (Imuran) question - only for those it worked for


 
01-13-2011, 12:15 PM   #1
hopeful
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Azathioprine (Imuran) question - only for those it worked for

Hi folks

To those of you whom Azathioprine worked for, I have a couple of questions:

1. How fast did you start seeing a positive effect?
2. What dosage did you begin at and how soon did you raise it?

Thanks so much!

hopeful
01-13-2011, 12:22 PM   #2
katiesue1506
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1. 3-4 months but I was also on Prednisone until it kicked in
2. I started at 150mg, after maybe 6 months I went to 200mg, and then another 4ish months I went to 250mg
01-14-2011, 10:19 AM   #3
littlemissh
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Katiesue,
Why did they up your dose? was it because your symptoms flared or because your weight increased?

I started it on monday so had 5 doses so far. My consultant says that the less fat stores you have the quicker it will work. The aza seems to be absorbed into your fat first. He reckoned 2-4 weeks to work but I would be very interested in the answers to this thread!
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Last edited by littlemissh; 01-14-2011 at 10:22 AM.
01-14-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
Sue-2009
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Katie Sue--OMG, thats a high dose..You look small in your picture! I take 6mp, a pediatric dose--LOL, my body has trouble processing it..Been okay for a while. Worked after about...3-4 months...but I'm having a little flare..Stress is a killer..Holidays..yada yada yada..Sue
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01-14-2011, 06:03 PM   #5
dreamintwilight
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I started taking Imuran after my every other week Humira shots weren't enough and I ended up in the hospital with a partial bowel obstruction. They upped me to weekly Humira and put me on Entocort while starting the Imuran to give it time to kick in. I stayed on the Entocort for about a month and then was just on the Imuran and weekly Humira shots (currently still on that). I would say that it probably took the 4-6 weeks for the Imuran to really work. Since then I haven't had ANY problems! I actually just had a colonoscopy on Monday and the doc said it looked so good I wouldn't have to get another one for 8 years!

I started out on 75 mg of Imuran (a pill and a half) thinking they would raise my dosage, but I've stayed on the 75 mg with no plans to increase my dosage at this time. In fact, my doc has suggested putting me back down to every other week Humira shots while on Imuran. We'll see how that goes. I will add that I'm a petite 5'3 averaging 110 lbs.
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February 2010 - diagnosed with Crohn's disease.
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January 2014 - adopted a mostly Paleo diet
May 2015 - still in remission!


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01-15-2011, 02:56 PM   #6
Rebecca85
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I thought I answered this already. I started at 50mg for 2 weeks until the initial side effects wore off. I then went onto my full dose of 100mg (I weighed about 54kg I think). I noticed an improvement in symptoms within a week or two- but that is really much quicker than expected! I was told to expect 6 weeks.
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01-15-2011, 05:04 PM   #7
robbo87
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I think for some reason i got put straight in at the deep end and started on 150 mg, it was probably around a month atleast before it got in my sytem and working but once it did i felt great for a good while.
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01-15-2011, 05:09 PM   #8
Rebecca85
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Should probably have said- I was given a prescription for 100mg, but the nurse said some patients found it helpful to build up the dosage, so that's what I did.
01-15-2011, 11:37 PM   #9
RDSChicago
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I started on Imuran a few years ago. Was taking 200 mg but to find my optimal dose they switched to 100mg of allopurinol and reduced daily Imuran dosage to 50mg. I am 3 years post-op (resection of small colon and removal of 35 cm) and still symptom-free. I always wonder whether Imuran is keeping me symptom-free or simply the resection by itself? Any theories?
01-18-2011, 10:56 PM   #10
momof4
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Hi, I am new here. I had a dr. appointment today and he decided to put me on imuran and I was curious also how it worked for others who have taken it. Any side effects? Do they keep watch on your blood work while on it? Thanks so much.
01-19-2011, 12:24 AM   #11
RDSChicago
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No side effects for me. They check your blood every 3 months or so to make sure liver is not being damaged. Hope this helps.
01-19-2011, 02:13 AM   #12
Rebecca85
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When you first start imuran you have weekly blood tests for a month, then 2 weekly, then monthly, then if everything has gone well you go to 3 monthly. I am still at monthlies (have been on aza for 6 months). I think normally they would look at putting you on 3 monthly now, but I have been anaemic so my red blood counts are not quite right and they want to keep an eye.
01-19-2011, 08:34 AM   #13
katiesue1506
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Those who asked, my dose kept being increased because my blood tests came back that I was handling the aza fine in my liver and my condition warranted a high dose (my doc says in the game of baseball I'm a major league type of Crohn's versus minor league, college, high school, middle school, and pee wees league)

While my weight did go up a bit, that was not the reason for the dosage increase, it was just because I guess I need it and I can handle it.
01-21-2011, 12:08 PM   #14
SdN
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1. How fast did you start seeing a positive effect?
I noticed some changes after maybe a month but it took it around 6 months to get the full effect.

2. What dosage did you begin at and how soon did you raise it?
I began taking 100mg but after some serious nausea I dropped down to 25mg and upped it by 25mg increments until I got back to 100mg which is what I'm taking now. No one told me that I should gradually increase the dosage to avoid nausea and extreme tiredness so I had to figure that out on my own. I've been on it for 8 months and it definitely is helping me.
01-21-2011, 01:13 PM   #15
kathpl1972
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Hi Hopeful Just finished my 1st week of Aza starting on 50mg just had bloods done all ok so can go up now to 125mg which is what i will stay on for my weight.........although i am going to do this gradually starting today on 75 mg for 3 days then on Monday going to take the full 125mg,as for how soon i noticed changes pretty quickly actually not needing to go to the loo anywhere near as much so fingers crossed for you.
02-24-2011, 06:06 AM   #16
vickyhunter
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1. How fast did you start seeing a positive effect?

I was relatively well when I started taking it as I was on a very high dose of pentasa and not having a flare up, but within 2 months I was able to come off pentasa completely and have been in remission for 6 years. (having a little trouble now but nothing big)

2. What dosage did you begin at and how soon did you raise it?

I started at 100mg (I am 5"1 and 112lbs, was 13 at the time but stats haven't changed)
got a really bad bout of tonsilitis/glandular fever at 16 so they had to reduce the dose to 75mg to allow me to get better.

Now, I've been having a little flare up but caught it early and my dose has been put back up to 100mg. It takes a couple of months for the increase to take effect so I'm on 30mg of steroids for the next few weeks (tapering included as well)

Hope this helps and good luck with azathioprine, it's been amazing for me, I was able to forget I had Crohn's for 6 years
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02-24-2011, 08:38 AM   #17
hopeful
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Thank you all for posting your experiences.

hopeful
02-24-2011, 08:51 AM   #18
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'They' say it normally takes about 2-3 months

They start me on 150mg and a large amount of Prednisolone (6 tabs which I think equates to 200Mg?! such a long time ago now). From there I was weaned off the Pred over a period of two months while the Aza took effect. Numerous blood tests later they thought it OK to reduce my Aza to 100mg which is what I am on now.....three years later!

It keeps everything under control so next time, I'm gonna ask to reduce by another 50mg - maybe not a good idea but lets see eh!

Andy
02-24-2011, 01:43 PM   #19
littlemissh
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Prednisolone tabs are usually prescribed as 5mg or 1mg so 6 tabs would be 30mg which is about right.

Last edited by littlemissh; 02-24-2011 at 02:29 PM.
02-26-2011, 11:55 AM   #20
ekay03
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Azo works for me! It took a coulpe months and I havent had a flare in 5 years now. It is the only drug I take for crohns. I started at 150mg and since it worked so well for me, that is were it stayed. I also take ferrous sulphate. Before the azo I was on prednesone
03-11-2011, 11:21 PM   #21
spingirl
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Does the fatigue wear off eventually?
03-11-2011, 11:44 PM   #22
Sonic
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I think the fatigue is more an idividual thing. Other things that can be causing the fatigue are #1 the Crohn's itself and #2 any depression that you might have.

Even though it seems like it would tire you out more, be as physically active as possible. The more I go to the gym, the more energy I have.

Are you getting your blood checked regularly? Maybe something is out of whack there and making you tired.

I've been on and off of aza for 15 years. 150mg for 4 years. Changed to 100mg for 4 more because of blood work. Then down to 50mg for 5 after that. Been off of it for 2 years. Now going back to 100mg.

I honestly can't say that I've felt much of a difference. I'm a bigger guy though (6'3" 230) so maybe it doesn't affect me as much?
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03-12-2011, 01:08 PM   #23
spingirl
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This is the second time in 2 days someone mentioned depression to me. I keep asking my doctor for something to take the edge off but he won't give them to me. I have to be more active but its hard when you are tired...vicious cycle I guess!!!

I am feeling better on Aza...so far...besides the fatigue... it must be doing something for my strictures/inflamation because I do not get the pain on my side as often...

I also take Asacol - Sonic - but its the HD. Does anyone know what the difference is between HD and regular?
03-13-2011, 10:01 PM   #24
co2
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50mg pill once daily
My gastro told me it takes two months for Imuran to "get up to speed"

Never had a side effect.
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03-22-2011, 12:20 AM   #25
kslade
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I started on 125mg of Imuran. It was never decreased or increased. My GI believed it was the right dose for me.

It took 4 months to fully "work". It's been over a year now, and it's still working alright for me. I'm also taking Remicade, and now because of the liver tests I got back recently I have to go for blood tests every month again. It originally was every week for a few months, then it went to once a month, then every 3 months.

I was also on Prednisone when I first started Imuran. Started on 40mg, then slowly went down from there every week.

Now I'm currently off the Prednisone. Current meds are: Imuran 125mg and Remicade every 6 weeks.

EDIT: The only real side affect I had was hair loss. It lasted a few months and then with time it went away. (by hair loss I mean the hair on my head)
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03-22-2011, 06:55 AM   #26
spingirl
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Ok - how come hair loss is always on the head? Seriously? Why couldn't it mean not having to shave your legs?

I am glad to hera its a full 2 months before Aza is up to speed...I am almost there but not quite and I am not up to speed...still optomistic it will work. Joint pain is not fun and being tired sucks but I also need to start going to bed earlier and realizing I have to do things differently now...
03-22-2011, 08:35 PM   #27
kslade
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I think I vaguely remember that when I first started Imuran. If your experience is going to be anything like mine, the side affects subside after time. The only thing I still get is nauseousness about 15-25min after I take my pills.
05-08-2011, 12:29 PM   #28
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I Just started on Azathioprine - I am on day 5. So far, I don't notice any change at all and no side effects. thanks to everyone for your replys to hopeful, reading this info has really helped me to watch out for some side effects. I am still tapering on prednisone, 15mg, and I feel so great that I waiting for the axe to fall and some new horrible symtom to emerge. I sure hope not! How long before any side effects appeared after starting on it? I know its really early for me but just wondering.
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05-08-2011, 02:02 PM   #29
spingirl
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Hi - I totally understand your fears...and curiosity.

I am about 3 months in...I think...I have trouble remembering. I do know that I started with 100mg and now with 150. When I was on predensone it was great...tapering at the end I got symptoms back...now I have to say I am feeling pretty darn good with respect to my BM's. I take 2 pills in the AM and one in the afternoon. I might have to change my timing though. I poop like 4 times in the morning...and then in the afternoon when I have my 3rd pill I don't go at all...sometimes not all night. Since I am new to a job - I hate going so much in the morning. I wonder if I took it at night the two and then on in the AM if I would be good during my work day. I know the poop has to come out and I have a stricture so I am thinking...that is why I go more than once...since its skinny...but...whatever...its still better than 25 times a day and that is what was happening. Side effects...I do notice more hair in the shower...mostly after I started with the 150mgs...but it could have been the length of time I was on it too...nearing the 2 month mark. I don't see "as" much as I did a few weeks ago so maybe (I pray) it is slowing down. I feel general all over body aches and my joints hurt but...I am also doing more now that I feel a little better...so...being 49...some of it might be that but I am sure a lot of it is the medication. Nothing that would make me want to stop taking it though. My pee is yellow and I hope that is not a bad sign. I am going to drink more water and see what happens. Its just hard with the new job...I have to pass my boss when I go to the bathroom...and I have not told them about my disease. Not yet anyhow. I heard my boss just lost a brother recently to colon cancer so I am hoping he will be nice about it...but I am not ready to share just yet. Just been there 2 weeks. Maybe after the summer. Unless I have to go to hosptial...but I am thinknig positive. I probably shoudl mention I tak 1 immodium in the morning too on the days I am working and feel like I am going too much...good luck jonimas0151...I think it might be getting better for me...and I hope so for you too soon!
02-04-2013, 09:56 AM   #30
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This has been very interesting to read.

I am on pred taper (on 25mg at the moment) i have a colonoscopy on thursday and an MRI in 2 weeks and after that the plan is to put me on azathioprene, i wasnt sure if they could put me on at the same time as pred but if they can while i am still at the end of the taper it may dovetail nicely.

I really hope this stuff stops the stomach cramps, as its soul destrying being sore and miserable all the time, if i am pain free but still have bouts of the runs i can live with that.

Hopefully i will find out more once i chat to specialist after scans

But hopefully aza will work better than asacol, which wasnt very good for me at all.
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