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Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Imuran/Azathioprine/6-MP » How does the body react to immunosuppressive antimetabolites?


02-19-2011, 01:39 PM   #1
MysteryLocket
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How does the body react to immunosuppressive antimetabolites?

I wrote this on a question site, I figure I would have better answers from everyone who is already taking it, and has experience, and things...
heres the question i had on the site:
"I'm taking Imuran, and wondering besides the side effects, what it actually does in the system. I understand that it lowers the immune system (and for me it kills it, due to being on other meds that do the same thing), but does it have any affects on the metabolism, or brain activity or sexual or anything with the body?"

I'm pretty much aware of the side effects now, but I haven't seen anything mentioned about more than physical side effects such as head aches, nausea, and such.
I'm also wondering (I've noticed it can cause pancreatisis or something like that on a rare side effect)- but I'm wondering like steroids( prenisone) can cause osteoporosis is there anything that that this med can cause long term even after the drug is done with??

Thanks anyone who can help me with this.
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Meds Currently Taking:

Crohn's Related Meds=
Proctozone-HC 2.5% - After every BM, PRN

On Hold=
Klor-Con M10 ER Tablets - 1 x 12hrs
Promethazine - 1 x 4hrs PRN (25mg)
Integra Plus - 1 x daily (125mg)
02-19-2011, 04:52 PM   #2
katiesue1506
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I can't answer your question entirely but I can tell you how it's processed. The liver processes the Imuran in to one of two things: 6MMP and 6TG. Now some people metabolize it entirely into 6MMP-- this is what causes Alkaline Phosphate levels to rise in the blood and causes most people to be taken off for too high liver counts. Some people metabolize it entirely into 6TG and 6TG is what is good for fighting Crohn's, but it also lowers the white cells in the body (which is okay if they are being monitored and are at a decent level). 6TG is what controls the T-cells in the body. Most people metabolize Imuran into a mix of both.

This is why you have to get blood tests so often on the drug. Depending on how your body metabolizes it, you may have different symptoms. I'm currently producing wayyy too much 6MMP on Imuran, and not enough 6TG. A way to fix this is to "trick" the liver into producing mostly 6TG through a secondary medication known as Allopurinol. This may be where I'm headed if I can get my abnormal pap smears cleared (the combination of Allopurinol and Imuran really reduces the immune system, so anyone with an underlying condition is at risk to reactivate those conditions). Since I'm trying to ward off cervical cancer, I figure I shouldn't take that risk right now.

This is a lot of information, but hopefully it helps people understand the metabolism process and why it doesn't always work for everyone.
02-19-2011, 06:47 PM   #3
MysteryLocket
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Thank you so much! That was really informative!
I hope your pap smears will start becoming normal soon!
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Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Imuran/Azathioprine/6-MP » How does the body react to immunosuppressive antimetabolites?
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