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Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Imuran/Azathioprine/6-MP » Azathioprine /Imuran- how long can you take it?


07-12-2007, 09:32 AM   #1
Heathcroft
 
Azathioprine /Imuran- how long can you take it?

Just wanting to know how long you can be on Azathioprine (Imuran)?
I asked my GI guy and he said 4 years but wouldn't go into it, he just said "We will talk about it then".

I've read that there is a time limit so what happens then? Anyone know or have experience of this? And what happens then?

Thanks!
07-12-2007, 09:42 AM   #2
Kev
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My GI talked about 5 years.. Ain't gonna happen now. I figure since they use it primarily for organ transplant recipients, the timelines are based mostly on those figures... But that's just a wild assed guess. Someone else may know more.
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Dx'd July, 2006
Meds: Flagyl, Cipro, Pred, AZA.. to no effect
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07-12-2007, 11:59 AM   #3
soupdragon69
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Hmmm pondering this one....

They do use it as one of several immunosuppressant drugs for transplant patients but in much higher doses. From what I recall up to 2g (maybe more depending on the organ) a day to help prevent rejection. (My background is heart and lung transplant intensive care, but left it a year ago as couldnt cope physically).

For Crohn's however we are on lower doses - I think up to 250mg max??

Like all immunosuppressant drugs my understanding is there is a slightly increased risk of cancer developing. But if we dont have our crohn's under control the risks are much the same I think. So devil and deep blue sea??

I guess the point is the longer we are on it perhaps the risks increase more so most GI's will only support a set time period 4-5yrs. This may also be because there is no research beyond that time span within the GI field, just like with the Remecade/Infliximab.

Will look into it some more I think..

Jan
08-09-2007, 12:49 PM   #4
dct
 
I have been seeing one of the top gastros in the country at the University of Chicago. I have been on 100 mgs of Imuran for 16 years. He has never said anything about taking me off of it, because I have been in remission for 15 years.
04-30-2011, 09:44 PM   #5
spingirl
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Hi dct - How long were you on imuran before you were in remission? I am having aches and pains and losing hair but nothing yet that I can't handle...does it get better eventually once your body gets used to it or steadily worse? Bald is better than dead but...for a woman it is just not an easy pill to swallow...and I swallow a lot of big pills!!!
04-30-2011, 09:57 PM   #6
can1991
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I have been on Imuran for over 20 years now.
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Diagnosed May 2009
Imuran 150 mg daily
Humira 40 mg weekly
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05-01-2011, 02:46 PM   #7
MapleLeafGirl
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My GI said there really is no set limit.
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Kelly

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05-04-2011, 09:01 PM   #8
ErikaHouston
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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As long as it works I'll stay on it!
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3 Hemorhages (July '10, Sept '10, Oct '10) - no other Crohn's symptoms

Diagnosed Oct'10

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

History of Melanoma ('08) so avoiding TNF blockers.
05-11-2011, 05:08 PM   #9
vickyhunter
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I've been on for 6 years and my doctor said if it continues to be effective it's for life
xxxx
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Azathioprine 100mg
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Starting Humira!!

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10-19-2011, 11:08 AM   #10
sandylate
 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: cape town, South Africa
I have been on Imuran for over 20 years now.
Hi I am a bit confused. It says that you have been dignosed in 2009 and been on Imuran for 20 years. Are you using it for different reasons.
11-03-2011, 01:16 PM   #11
silvermist
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Silvermist here. I've been on Asacol 400mg 9 times a day. And Azathioprine 50mg twice a day. For 4 yrs and will be 5 yrs come Feb. I'm to be on that for the rest of my life. Good or bad. If it fails to do what I need, my only guess is to go to the shots in the tummy. I don't mind shots, I just don't want to do them myself. I was not given any time line, except for life. I was dianosed in 08, but had gone to a doctor in 07 and was told that there was nothing wrong. Had a colonscope in 08 to determine what I had. Spent one year in pain before someone decided to start my med's. Now I'm in remission. Lost of hair can be fixed. I'm a woman and like my hair. I've found something that works. It's called Doo Gro. I found it the section of the African American hair products. I've had new hair growth and it smells good. One thing I haven't conquered is the confounded sweating. I feel like someone turned on the water and forgot to turn it off.
01-29-2016, 11:54 AM   #12
Shazc
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Hi just wondering if the people taking azathioprine are still doing well as its a few years on!!!? I would love to hear from any of you?
01-29-2016, 11:54 AM   #13
Shazc
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
I would especially like to hear from can1991
01-29-2016, 08:23 PM   #14
hawkeye
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I was on it from 1991 until surgery in 2014.
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Current Medications: None currently. Was on Imuran (150mg/day) and 5-ASA (3000 mg/day) as maintenance meds prior to surgery
Surgeries: Left hemicolectomy 2014.
01-30-2016, 05:40 AM   #15
Shazc
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
I was on it from 1991 until surgery in 2014.
Hi thanks Hawkeye. What kind of surgery did you have? How have you found it? Hope you're happy with it. Did you have any probs with aza? When I was younger I took it for 17 years without thinking but now I have 2 children and the risks way heavy on my mind and I'm getting older (38) so cancer risks going up too!! Arghhhh!!
01-30-2016, 11:24 AM   #16
hawkeye
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No issues with aza, but my theory was the dosage wasn't high enough as there was a time when I wasn't under the care of a GI and perhaps the dosage wasn't enough to keep the inflammation in check. The inflammation led to scarring and a stricture which required a bowel resection (descending colon).
01-31-2016, 06:58 AM   #17
Shazc
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
No issues with aza, but my theory was the dosage wasn't high enough as there was a time when I wasn't under the care of a GI and perhaps the dosage wasn't enough to keep the inflammation in check. The inflammation led to scarring and a stricture which required a bowel resection (descending colon).
Does that mean you're medication free now? Hope everything is good for you.
01-31-2016, 09:09 AM   #18
hawkeye
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I have been off medication since surgery
09-07-2016, 07:10 PM   #19
mom5272
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Virginia
I've been on it for about 18 years.. 100 MG and it's been a miracle drug for me. Labs have always been great.. just now having a lot of major skin issues and may have to come off and i'm so afraid. I miss 2 doses and start to flare so what's next?
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02-08-2017, 02:11 PM   #20
murat
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
I've been on azathioprine for seven years (now going on eight). Started at 150 mg and now on 125 mg.

I'm in remission, so I only see my gastroenterologist annually. And, every year, for the past two or three years, he mentions coming off of azathioprine. And every year, he seems to forgot that me mentioned it last year.

My sense is that he is reluctant to change my treatment, because I am in remission and it was so hard to get me to this point. I feel the same way, too.

FYI: According to the Cleveland Clinic: "Long-term use may increase the risk of developing some types of tumors. This generally occurs after 10 years of continuous use or with a lifetime dose of 600 grams."
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