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


 
07-21-2011, 05:45 AM   #1
AlexandraRose
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Worried about Azathioprine.

My doctor presribed me Azathioprine yesterday, I have to wait untill i receive the go ahead from her when my blood results are back before I can start taking them.

I just wanted to know about the possible side effects. I am a bit worried about the hair loss as I lost my hair when on Asacol. I would like to know so i can prepare myself and push through.
07-21-2011, 05:59 AM   #2
DustyKat
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Both of my children are on Azathioprine, Sarah for 5 years now and Matt for 8 months. Neither have suffered with side effects.

I hope it works well for you hun and with no side effects!

Dusty. xxx
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07-21-2011, 07:41 AM   #3
DMS
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my son is also on aza and has had no side effects at all.
Good luck with it.
07-21-2011, 08:03 AM   #4
25times
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I've been on aza for a while, and I haven't experienced any side effects that i can recall. I'm on alot of different pills though, so there could be some. My hair is a little less shiny and smooth, and I do notice more of it coming out but i don't have bald spots or thinning or anything. I'm on 150mgs and my blood work has been good for the liver function tests. I'm not sure it's working the way it's supposed to, but I was told it takes a while to kick in. Just make sure you stay away from sick people, because you WILL get sick.
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Samantha
Officially in remission from crohns.
Rheumatoid arthitis
Ovarian tumor (getting removed!)
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Remicade (With Benadryl)
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07-21-2011, 08:50 AM   #5
Nico85
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Ive been on them for about 4 years and ive had no side effects, ive been told ill be on them for life!
07-21-2011, 09:34 AM   #6
LOSTnut
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Interestingly enough, the first time I was on Aza I didn't have any side effects; however, the second time around I noticed big time hair loss and stopped taking them.
Too many other body issues to deal with at the time and I just couldn't handle the additional hair loss.
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Back on Asacol

Dec 2010: colostomy/resection - failed
Jan 2011: Ileostomy
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07-21-2011, 12:00 PM   #7
Grumbletum
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Hi there
I've been on it for about 2 weeks now. I had a few days of nausea about three days after I started on them, but that has settled down now, even after upping the dose. I've also noticed ( and I'm not sure if this is the Aza or not ) that my veins seem to be very prominent. DS said the other day: 'Ewwww, look at that. That's weird." Cos there was a big vein standing out on my neck and it was pulsating!!!
But apart from that, I feel OK on it and ( touch wood ) I think it's working. Hope you get on OK with it.
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Previous: Prednisolone, Mesren, Omeprazole, Infliximab, Azathioprine
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07-21-2011, 01:08 PM   #8
shnjmsn
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On them for 20 years....... came off end of last year resulting in a big flare up and finally surgery !! Hoping to be put back on them now I'm out of hospital again :-) No side effects at all in all those years.

Now on Pentasa for the first time...........
07-22-2011, 02:59 AM   #9
ErikaHouston
 
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I had a TON of hair loss for about 3 months when I first started, now it's stopped. No one besidea me noticed the hair loss. From my research, it is usually just at the beginnimg. Only other side effect is I have had a lot of yeast infections, but that is also now under control completely. Drug seems to be working for me!
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3 Hemorhages (July '10, Sept '10, Oct '10) - no other Crohn's symptoms

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Currently on Entocort and Apriso and starting Imuran in December '10

History of Melanoma ('08) so avoiding TNF blockers.
07-22-2011, 03:31 AM   #10
Nico85
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So thats the reason for my reseading hairline then?? haha

Naw but seriousley, never had any side effects, never had any side effects from pentasa either, pentasa does a good job but doesnt get round to your tail end, so ive been put on mezevant and they have worked wonders
07-22-2011, 04:50 AM   #11
mallenfaye
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I too have recently started on Aza. A month in now and seen my GI yesterday who increased the dosage to 150mg (3 tablets a day). I havent had any side effects at all either, I very rarely do on any drug, must be a lucky person in that respect! First set of bloodwork came back fine so fingers crossed this is the drug for me

x
07-22-2011, 09:44 AM   #12
aarond
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Hi ive been on azathioprene but couldnt tolerate it so got moved to mercaptopurine. that however has given me the run around with weird symptoms side effects etc.

the strangest one was a blood clot on the lung (pulmonary embolism) which was nearly the end for me but got through it and caught it on time.

moral of mystory was KEEP UP WITH BLOODS! very important to monitor white blood cell count.

wish you luck

Aaron
07-22-2011, 10:27 AM   #13
troydanielbecker
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Our son is on it at therapeutic levels and everything has been fine. At the beginning, you will need to pay attention to bloodwork to check out how your body responds. The scariest medical side effects happen soon but the bloodwork can indicate it and the drug can be stopped. After it is determined that your body tolerates the drug, you can see if there are other side-effects, but as you can read from others above, sometimes there are, sometimes not, and sometimes the advantages outweigh the disadvantages and sometimes not.

Medicines are sometimes scary but they can also be a godsend.

Best,
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08-01-2011, 06:15 AM   #14
AlexandraRose
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Thank you for your comments, It has really helped me.
I have had the blood test but am still waiting for the results to see if I can start taking them.
I've been told that I'm only allowed to take a maximum of 2 tablets as my weight is too low to go any higher then this, but hopefully these pills will help with the weight situation.

It's very reassuring to know that so many people have been fine on them.
08-01-2011, 05:34 PM   #15
JoeUK
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Hi AR, I've been on Aza for 10 years now. It has been in use for ages. Had some hair loss when I started on a high dose that stopped when I tookl a lower dose because I felt unwell. Everyone tolerates it differently and on different dosage levels. See how you feel, keep a diary and keep on talking to your doctor.
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Crohns diagnosis 2000-Boo!
4 peri-anal fistulas & matching seatons & ops
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Dairy allergy
New-massive problem with crohns related reactive arthiritis only etoricoxib helps. Anyone else with this?
Now on Infliximab currently
08-04-2011, 05:03 AM   #16
*AJ*
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I've been on Aza for just under a year(in facr maybe about a year) and so far so good. Only thing I've noticed moreis tiredness but that could be just the Crohns in general.

AJxx
08-05-2011, 08:12 PM   #17
25times
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I've now been on aza for just over a month now, and I'm noticing some side effects. Mostly just the hair loss. I'm constantly pulling loooong strands of hair from my head. They just come out. All the time. I haven't noticed any bald spots or thinning, just alot of my hair is falling out. It's weird because the hair on my head is falling out and getting thinner and weaker... But the hair on my body is growing back MUCH faster than it usually does, and I'm starting to develope chest and stomach hair! That's from the prednisone, though. I just find it kind of ironic haha
08-05-2011, 09:58 PM   #18
Lydia
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I've now been on aza for just over a month now, and I'm noticing some side effects. Mostly just the hair loss. I'm constantly pulling loooong strands of hair from my head. They just come out. All the time. I haven't noticed any bald spots or thinning, just alot of my hair is falling out. It's weird because the hair on my head is falling out and getting thinner and weaker... But the hair on my body is growing back MUCH faster than it usually does, and I'm starting to develope chest and stomach hair! That's from the prednisone, though. I just find it kind of ironic haha
I swear every time I do a round of pred I get one new chin or body hair. I have like 8 now that I have to pluck at any given time. lol.
08-06-2011, 04:07 PM   #19
AlexJ
 
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Hi there, I have been taking 100mg daily for some time now and have not noticed any side effects, so hopefully you will not have any either
08-11-2011, 09:45 AM   #20
AlexandraRose
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Right, so I started aza last week and started taking 100mg yesterday. I have been feeling sick since starting and knew that this could happen and will stop after a while.
I just wanted to know if anyone had any tips on how to stop feeling so sick? It seems to be constant.
08-11-2011, 10:59 AM   #21
Lydia
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Right, so I started aza last week and started taking 100mg yesterday. I have been feeling sick since starting and knew that this could happen and will stop after a while.
I just wanted to know if anyone had any tips on how to stop feeling so sick? It seems to be constant.
Try taking it a bedtime. Some people find they feel better by morning. Ask your doctor if its ok to take it with some gravol at bedtime. That will help the upset stomach and it will help you sleep. Make sure to take it with food. Even if its just a few crackers.
08-17-2011, 07:31 AM   #22
AlexandraRose
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Thank you Lydia, i have been taking it at night after dinner for a couple of days and i feel so much better! Thanks for the advice
08-19-2011, 09:40 PM   #23
Lydia
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Good news!!!!
08-22-2011, 02:08 PM   #24
JudithC
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Just rcd my RX for Imuran. Read the paperwork and it says some people have developed a rare fast-growing type of lymphoma (cancer). I am a cancer survivor, and you can bet this statement stopped me cold. Before I start on this third Rx, I will be talking to my oncologist for sure.
08-22-2011, 02:14 PM   #25
Lydia
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Just rcd my RX for Imuran. Read the paperwork and it says some people have developed a rare fast-growing type of lymphoma (cancer). I am a cancer survivor, and you can bet this statement stopped me cold. Before I start on this third Rx, I will be talking to my oncologist for sure.
The cancer thing worries me too. I compensate with green tea, turmeric, and green smoothies. I figure it all balances out in the end. If I had your history I would have been stopped cold too.
08-28-2011, 04:42 AM   #26
DustyKat
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Thought I would revisit this one due to the fact that I gave Matt a haircut tonight.

I have noticed a significant change in his hair to when I last cut just prior to his surgery in April. His hair is now much, much thicker and back to the colour it was last year......

Sarah commenced Imuran 3 months after surgery, so at a time when she was already well in remission and I did not see any change in the appearance of her hair.

Matt commenced Imuran 4 months before surgery, on the day of his diagnosis. He had a very quick diagnosis, 2 weeks, and had only had minimal symptoms at the time but that quickly changed. During the time between diagnosis and surgery he had two hospital stays and his condition dropped off significantly. His hair just before surgery appeared to be lighter in colour and was definitely thinner, perhaps this why it appeared lighter??
I am leaning toward his hair being like that due to his flaring and general poor condition both physically and nutritionally. I know Imuran can cause hair loss and I can't explain why I don't think the Imuran had an effect, it's just a feeling I have.

I guess what I am putting out there is, for those that experienced hair loss, what condition were you in when you commenced Imuran. Could it be the Imuran, could it be poor overall health due to flaring or a combination of both?

Dusty.
09-01-2011, 08:01 PM   #27
spingirl
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Dusty - this makes me feel better. I have been having hair loss. On Imuran around 6 months now but I also take a cholesgterol medication that causes it too. I just really don't want to be bald.
09-02-2011, 02:18 AM   #28
Rodenthideout
 
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Hi all..Im new here..saw this site and wanted to join...about me,,I have ulcerative colotis since I was 17 and now im 36...been doing pretty good expect for the odd mild flare ups...I take asacol and also salofalk suppositoires (or butt bullets as I call them ) and also was on purinethol but we have a shortage here for thiis medication...so my doc put me on Azathioprine 125 mg dose a day...the odd this I noticed shortly after taking my first dose was my pee..I was shocked to see it bright yellow?? has anyone else had this and is it nothing to worry about???
09-02-2011, 11:25 AM   #29
BrendaJ
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Hi all..Im new here..saw this site and wanted to join...about me,,I have ulcerative colotis since I was 17 and now im 36...been doing pretty good expect for the odd mild flare ups...I take asacol and also salofalk suppositoires (or butt bullets as I call them ) and also was on purinethol but we have a shortage here for thiis medication...so my doc put me on Azathioprine 125 mg dose a day...the odd this I noticed shortly after taking my first dose was my pee..I was shocked to see it bright yellow?? has anyone else had this and is it nothing to worry about???
I too am on Azathioprine 150mg and my pee is always quite yellow about an hour or so after I have taken my pills. I know everything is all right because my blood work comes back to show that my body is accepting the Imuran with no ill effects. Don't worry about the colour of your pee; it is normal
11-08-2014, 01:57 PM   #30
johnf
 
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I have wandered onto this site researching the reason for Azathioprine shortage. I was diagnosed with Crohns in 1974 at age 19. I thought I might shed some my experiences. I have been on Aza for some 20 years, biannual blood tests for liver function is a must. I never saw any side effects from Aza. I started at 200mg/day and am now down to 100. I believe you should experiment with lowering your dosage on your own. If your like me you will see an immediate difference, if not keep the lower dosage and tell your GI. Some may not agree but I started back in 1974 with long term Prednizone as well as a vast number of other drugs through the years. Do not just leave it up to your GI to determine what is correct for you. You must be part your own doctor and with the internet and the data available to you today, there is no reason that you cannot research your own condition. That being said the 2 surgeries I had did more for relief of my disease than any drug ever did.
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