Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Imuran/Azathioprine/6-MP » Is Imuran good for Crohn's Disease


04-28-2006, 03:28 PM   #1
feliegirl123
 
Is Imuran good for Crohn's Disease

hey everyone...i just started taking imuran. i just wanted to know if it was any good for you..and if it worked for you. i know everyone is different . so did it work for you?
04-28-2006, 04:14 PM   #2
Kossy
 
Well I've been on it for about 14 years now. I can't complain about. It's been doing it's job for the most part.
The only draw back that I have noticed when I started to take it is I get sunburn a lot faster then when I wasn't on it. Other then that it hasn't made me feel any different like the way Predinsone does.

Good luck and I hope it works for you.
04-28-2006, 08:01 PM   #3
mikeyarmo
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I agree with Kossy (well except for the sun burn part... have not noticed that). I have taken Imuran for a some time (don't remember exact time but I would guess more than a year) and it was working well for most of it. I did not notice any side effects though, so it was not too big of a deal for me to take.
04-28-2006, 08:06 PM   #4
Tami Lynn
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When I was taking Imuran (Azathioprine), it seemed to work well enough; it took awhile to get into my system though (and out of my system). I'm not 100% certain if it was the Imuran helping me or not... b/c I had been virtually symptom free for over a year when my doc decided I should be on some type of maintenance drug "just in case."

I got the whole sunburn thing... and baaad heat rashes whenever I'd be in the sun longer than say, an hour. Besides that...very little noticeable side-effects.

Best wishes!
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04-28-2006, 08:44 PM   #5
mikeyarmo
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I forgot to add something (Tami reminded me ). I was told by the doctors it can take about 3 months to get into your system and start working, so you need to be patient.
04-28-2006, 09:16 PM   #6
Donna
 
I was on Imuran in the beginning, but they took me off of it after about 9 months because it didn't seem like it was doing anything at all.

However, recently, they put me back on it again, but this time doubled the dose. I don't have any real bad side effects from it, but I do feel sick to my stomach sometimes, and I also have a rash on my arms from it from being out in the sun...which I just learned from these posts is being caused from the Imuran...when I asked my doc about that side effect, he said he had no idea about that and didn't think it was being caused by the Imuran. See what he knows! Anyway, other than that, I am on it again for the time being. Time will tell if it will work or not.

It does take 3-5 months for it to start working. It also takes as long for it to get out of your system once you stop taking it. It tends to change the color of your urine to a BRIGHT yellow, as well as your stool to a lighter than normal color (if you have a 'normal' color...lol). I was told that if you are gonna have the pancreatitis reaction (inflammation of the pancreas...VERY painful) you will have it within 3 weeks or so. DO NOT hesitate to go to the ER if you have severe pain just below your breast bone in the center.

Other than those things...which I did not mean to scare you if I did...it usually works for people. I hope you will get some relief with it and it helps you out!!!!!

Donna
04-30-2006, 07:58 PM   #7
samantha
 
I took it for 9 months and it made me very sick i was throwing up everyday so it didnt work for me but then nothing does!
05-03-2006, 10:54 PM   #8
Jason M V
 
I'm with Samantha on this one. I took it for nine months as well, and I puked a few times every day. I ended up having to miss tons of work because I could only stand the nausea for the first half of the day and then got so sick that I couldn't hold my head up anymore. Also, I didn't like the idea of being that suppressed, and subject to possible infections. Remicade has been a lot more tolerable. Of course, it hasn't really bettered my quality of life either, though it has greatly reduced the pain. I think it's all-around safer, if you ask me. It depends on how severe and extensive your case is, I guess. If it's only in a couple of small spots, you might do great. Hell, you might do great anyway. Like you said, everybody reacts differently. I didn't really add anything here, so I'm sorry.... Good luck with whatever you do.
05-04-2006, 08:13 AM   #9
Karen
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My husband has been taking this medication for about 2 1/2 months and I was wondering does or has anyone felt really TRIED after taking it ? Just wondering ... he seems to be tried a lot more since he started taking this drug where as when he was on the " MEAN DRUG aka PREDIZONE " he had lots of ENERGY ... so if you can let me know ok ?
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05-04-2006, 11:24 AM   #10
Jenni
 
Donna said:
I was told that if you are gonna have the pancreatitis reaction (inflammation of the pancreas...VERY painful) you will have it within 3 weeks or so. DO NOT hesitate to go to the ER if you have severe pain just below your breast bone in the center.
ahhhh if u feel any pain at all do go to the ER! because its not only very painful but its horrible. u get to the point wher u cant even keep water down! the pancreatitus is the reason they wouldnt put me on imuran. asacol and colazal are wat caused it last time and i think they figured i would b one of the lucky ones to get pancreatitus agian! but im glad that itt is working for yall!!!
05-05-2006, 02:46 AM   #11
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Thought it prudent to mention that if young women are on imuran then they should also be taking some sort of contraceptive. My physician told me that while I was on it I would have to shelve any ideas of having kids. Don't know if that is the case now, but being an immune suppressant drug used for organ transplants I would assume it is still valid info.

Just my two cents worth as usual from the fossil down under...lol
05-06-2006, 02:44 PM   #12
Sparrow
 
didnt work for me, and was on it for like 4 years
05-08-2006, 02:19 AM   #13
marcia
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I am not sure if this medication would have worked for me or not since every dose I took I threw back up within 2 hours. My doctor had me stay on it for over 2 weeks since he said it may take a while for my body to adjust but I was beginning to loose weight again so he changed.

Best of luck!!

Marcia
05-10-2006, 03:58 AM   #14
kc0eks
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I have been on this I would say about 3 years, maybe 4..
It has helped I believe for the majority of this time, although for about the last year I cant say I think it is working.

As for the comment about being tired...yes! I have been very tired, all the time, since being on this. No energy, ever. No other way to say it.
05-20-2006, 02:38 AM   #15
rhiannonctr
 
Karen said:
My husband has been taking this medication for about 2 1/2 months and I was wondering does or has anyone felt really TRIED after taking it ?
Absolutely. I've also started experiencing some pretty severe arthritic pain while waiting for the Imuran to take effect. (I was switched from Pentasa to Imuran about 2 months ago now.) I have found that taking 2 mg of B12 sublingually has helped--that's in addition to the monthly B12 shots (which I have been taking since some pretty massive surgery last year that removed my terminal illeum). My MD thinks it's more psychological than anything, but hey, it works for me. I was feeling pretty good and had good B12 levels so she had me stop the shots and the sublingual a few weeks ago, but I got really tired and run down again. I started the sublingual again last week and have noticed an increase in my energy again--I actually got out in my garden this weekend. You can get the sublingual in liquid or tablet form from several healthfood/vitamin stores.
05-20-2006, 09:45 AM   #16
Mickeyg
 
I have been on Imuran since 1998 and only had side effects in the beginning when I first when on it. My stomach couldn't tolerate it and I would vomit daily until my system got used to it, it took about 2 weeks each time my dose was changed.

I also have had 2 children while on Imuran, and and plenty of testing with the 1st one but not the second. Both have been completely fine, one very healthy and the other has allergy and ezcema. My 1st child (I have 3) also has allergies and asthma but I wasn't on any meds with him. My Dr. just told me that being on Imuran while pregnant is safer than Remicade.

Good luck,

Mickey
05-20-2006, 02:06 PM   #17
Valentina
 
I was on it for about 3 or 4 months, and it made me very ill, felt like a had a flu that just kept getting worse and worse, and I was getting weaker by the day, also swelled up worse with the combination of pred I was taking with it.. I switched to MTX shots after that, and started wit a whole new list of issues and side effects.. seems like the only drug Ive been on that hasnt been bad for tons of unbearable side effects has been remicade for me..
it certainly isnt easy trying to find the one that will work, wasnt for me anyways. good luck, and I hope it helps you.
05-30-2006, 04:48 PM   #18
mikeplatt8
 
Been on this drug for 2 months how long does it take ?
05-30-2006, 07:24 PM   #19
kc0eks
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took at least a few months for me. And even then it wasnt some amazing change. Ive been on it for almost 5 years now. Hasnt been working very well the last year or so for me..off to remicade, again.
06-10-2006, 02:00 PM   #20
kitty
 
but I do feel sick to my stomach sometimes,
i'm not sure if this will work for the people who actually throw up-but if you just feel nauseous,then take it with something to eat-works for me-karen-i do feel tired on it but then,with crohns i always feel tired so i dont know what causes what!
aza(imuran)also gave me bad joint pain-but the crohns gave me rheumatoid arthritis in the first place-i take morphine for that...a mild sleeping tablet so i can get to sleep and not wake up every couple of hours-i find i can cope with pretty much anything so long as i get some sleep otherwise i am one cranky b****!!!!!!!!
i've been taking aza for about a month so i dont expect any radu=ical change for a while-of course-with this delightful; disease you never know how you'll be if you stop a certain med.......
kitty
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08-05-2006, 10:49 AM   #21
doctor_b
 
Great news for people who had to come off azathioprine because of side-effects - it looks like it is possible to be weaned back onto it!

Green CJ, Mee AS. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 May;18(5):553-5. said:

Re-introduction of azathioprine in previously intolerant patients.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Azathioprine is an important steroid-sparing agent in the management of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. However, side effects are a problem in a significant minority of patients. We proposed that desensitization might increase the number of patients able to tolerate the drug.

METHODS: Successive inflammatory bowel disease patients who were intolerant to azathioprine in our hospital gastroenterology clinic were invited to recommence the drug at a low dose, gradually building up to a therapeutic dose. Patients were observed for the recurrence of side effects. Patients who did not wish to participate were offered alternative immunosuppressant therapy.

RESULTS: Fourteen patients elected to attempt desensitization. Nine of these (64%) were able to tolerate a full dose of azathioprine. The remainder suffered a return of their side effects and were offered alternative treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Azathioprine can be tolerated in some people who have been previously intolerant by the use of desensitization.
08-05-2006, 04:15 PM   #22
Valentina
 
doctor_b said:
Great news for people who had to come off azathioprine because of side-effects - it looks like it is possible to be weaned back onto it!
Thanks for sharing that.. Its something Ive thought/worried about quite a bit. I didnt do well on imuran at all and had to be taken off of it. I was on 175mg which I now understand is a very large dose, not sure if that is the only reason I reacted so badly to it.
Im now on methotrexate and remicade to maintain my remission, but am honestly not very keen on doing this for the rest of my life (esp the MTX) so maybe I can be one of the ones who can go back on imuran some day. hope so anyways..
thanks again.. gives me nice things to think about for a change (crohns related of course )
08-24-2006, 06:59 PM   #23
Tia
 
I developed pancreatitis within a week or two of taking Imuran. I wasn't hospitalized but man that is painful!

Tia
08-24-2006, 07:53 PM   #24
Kev
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Never took immuran... But I've had a number of bouts with pancreatitis, even to the point of developing massive pancreatic cysts. And, although itis common to exp. the pain in front, under the breast bone, it can often be over to the right (sort of feels like an elephant sitting there on your chest)... If cysts are formed, then the pain can migrate to other areas... sides, back, chest, etc.
In any case, any of these should be investigated immediately. See you doctor. And those of you who have had pancreatitis, know how painful it is.. (although kidney stones can be more intense, but their pain doesn't last as long)..
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09-02-2006, 10:51 PM   #25
GNC Crohn's Man
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Imuran has worked okay for me for the past 3 years.. I've still had inflamtion and hopitlaztions but I thought it helped some... But I'm off that now.. I was taking the Imuran along with the Remicade treatments to help prevent my body from making anitbodies to the Remicade...

Turns out my new GI doc (I love this doc to death he takes plenty of time to answer questions and he is even more up to date on crohn's research than I am)

Enough ranting both Imuran and Remicade increase the risk of devolping Lymphoma (type of cancer), Crohn's by itself increases the risk of colon cancer, and taking steriods over long periods of time will probably greatly increae your risk of getting, Kaposi's sarcoma, which is another kind of cancer..

But with Kaposi's sarcoma you probably won't notice any symptoms on the outside of the body... Best thing to do is ask them when you get cat scan, upper gi, endoscopy, lower gi, or colonoscopy to look for lesions in teh intestines...

So watch out the medcine your own my help you know but it may also kill you laster... My advice would be to make sure your getting in tons of antixodents without going over board...

And no I can't spell very well as you can tell by past few posts plus I'm partial drugged up (taking 1 mg of adivan with my 30 mg of prednisone). I'm on 60 mg of prednsione though its just taken 12 hours apart... So every 12 hours I take 30 mg prednisone and 1 mg adavine and that seems to keep me mostly calm and sane...

Ok that is enough inchorent rambling... I hope you made some sence out of all of that...
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