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Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Prednisone to Azathioprine


12-11-2007, 01:52 PM   #1
amor151
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prednisone to Azathioprine

on the 21st of december this year i am going to the hosipital for another endoscopy. the reason for this current endoscopy is because my doctor believes that the prednisone i am currently on is having very little effect on me and thinks that azathioprine may be more beneficial.

im just writing to ask if anyone out there is currently on azathioprine. i dont know much about the drug and was wondering if anyone could shed some light on the situation and give me an insight to the effects of the drug before i begin to take them.

my main concerns are about any side effects the drug may cause, what other people have thought of the drug in relation to prednisone and has it helped any people out there into a state of remission?

write back soon!
12-11-2007, 02:10 PM   #2
Shane
 
Hi amor

I'm afraid my experience of Azathioprine is a negative one. It gave me pancreatitis. For the first two weeks I thought I was doing ok on it and was feeling better but, in the third week I got really ill and it turned out that it was the Azathioprine that had given given it to me. I was on 25mg per day at the time. I found the Prednisolone to be really effective but, had to find a longer term alternative. I'm on Infliximab at the moment.

That was just my experience of it though, and we are all different, it may work wonders for you. Good luck, keep us posted.
12-11-2007, 06:51 PM   #3
Kev
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Azathioprine is also known as Imuran. I did a diary on it (or at least started to).. Started off at 50 mg a day for 2 weeks, ramped up to 100 mg, had a bad reaction, ended up in the ER. That was just my case. Everyone is different. I looked at a number of options before going on Azathioprine/imuran. It didn't work out for me, but there's a good chance that it will for you. I wouldn't have gone on it if I didn't believe in it, think it was a good option at the time. My treatment options would have been far less complex if it had worked out for me. you will need to do bloodwork on a recurring basis, just to check how your body is reacting to it, okay?
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Dx'd July, 2006
Meds: Flagyl, Cipro, Pred, AZA.. to no effect
Low Dose Naltrexone Nov 2007 - May 2014
Remicade June 17th, 2014
12-11-2007, 07:39 PM   #4
katiesue1506
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My experience wasn't negative... just neutral. It helped for a while, but then I wasn't responding (after 8 months of use). The worst side effect I experienced was hair loss.
12-11-2007, 07:39 PM   #5
katiesue1506
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Oh... forgot to mention... I was on 150 mgs for 8 months.
12-12-2007, 06:16 AM   #6
Shane
 
Sorry, I was on 50mg per day not 25mg.
12-21-2007, 12:42 PM   #7
amor151
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well im now officially on azathioprine! whether this is a good thing only time will tell. had the most awful day yesterday with citrafleet. i was originally booked into the hospital to have the stuff through the nose in preperation for an upper and lower endoscopy but the nurse persuaded me to give it a go normally. i got through the first dose easily and emptied myself without any trouble. then a couple of hours later i had the second dose and entered a world of pain! the citrafleet had caused a spasm in my bowel and the food still left in my stomach was pushing against the inflamed part putting me in absolute agony for around 2 hours. i was encouraged to drink water but anything that came in my mouth exited through the same hole again a couple of minutes later!

The pain simply did not stop until around midnight when my body finally relaxed and my bowel emptied itself. i have never been so relieved in my life the pain i endured was the worst feeling of my life and wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy. the day wasn't all bad though as just before my second citrafleet doasge some of the Nottingham Forest football team players came round to meet the kids in the ward and gave me a couple of signed goodies which now sit proudly on my bookshelf.

as for the endoscopy there where some promising signs. apparently the worst part of my bowel has healed quite alot and the doctors are very happy with my progress. azathioprine has been given the a-ok and am on it as well as prednisolone for a while.

am really happy about the news my bowel may be getting slightly better which is probably the best christmas present i could ask for!

hope all you guys have an amazing christmas and remember not to go over the top with your christmas dinners

Henry
12-21-2007, 02:35 PM   #8
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aw sorry you had such a painful day amor, but hey fantastic news about the healing!!!

well done on getting through it
12-22-2007, 11:45 AM   #9
Kev
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yeah, that's great news. The memory of the pain will fade with time, believe me. Keep up on the bloodwork. azathioprine (aka imuran) can take a 'nasty' turn if you don't watch it. Again, take my word for it. if you start to feel any strange pains, or break out in a rash, contact your doctors immediately, ok?
12-24-2007, 04:05 PM   #10
amor151
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ok thanks for the warning kev is there any place in particular the strange pains you mentioned may occur?
12-24-2007, 09:54 PM   #11
GregD
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I was only on it for about two weeks. It made me really nauseous and I felt totally run down. From what I understand, about 20% people can't tolerate it. I know people who can tolerate it usually have good results though.
12-26-2007, 10:33 AM   #12
Kev
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Well, amor.. I don't know if my pains were typical. I broke out in a rash over my back, and up n down my legs. The pain was in my back, and up N down my legs.. I have a bad back (long story, won't bother with it here) so @ first I thought it was just my back acting up again. But the pains in my legs/feet got so intense, I could barely stand, hardly walk. Ended up in the ER. doc's there saw the rash as a form of foliculitis (sp?), inflamation of hair folicules, which they suspected was a drug reaction. so I came off of the imuran. within 2 days, the pains subsided (with the help of my chiro). so it was still indeteriminate whether the pain/rash was from the imuran. to be absolutely sure, they had me wait 2 weeks, then tried me on a single dose of 25 mg of imuran. within 24 hrs, all of the back/leg pain came back. stopped there, the pain went away within 48 hrs. Case closed on imuran. I kept the rash for months, but it mostly disappeared when I started on LDN.
Mind you, I was on imuran for 3 weeks in total, with weekly bloodwork too. I started off on 50 mg for 2 weeks, then ramped up to 100 in my final week. The bloodwork showed no problems, then the reaction ended all that.
12-27-2007, 05:26 PM   #13
amor151
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well almost a week gone and no pains or rashes yet. I go from 25mg up to 50mg tomorrow and am actually feeling quite good going to the hospital tomorrow as well for the first of 8 weekly blood tests and am hoping for best. hope you all had a happy holiday and best of luck for the new year
12-28-2007, 09:42 AM   #14
Kev
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same to you. And, just because those were my adverse reaction symptoms, I suggest you relax a little, you may not have any.. and even if you do, its very likely they'll be different. i haven't heard of anyone else on imuran who had the same issues that I did. and altho the pain was nasty, I wasn't in any life threatening situation.. and after coming off, the pain went away in just 2 days
12-28-2007, 09:40 PM   #15
Momof3
 
I guess I am one of the lucky ones. I have been in Imuran for about 7 years now. I have not noticed any bad side effects but am religious about getting my bloodwork done. It took me 18 months to ween off of the prednisone but once I did, my even temper came back and I started to lose the weight I had gained. I feel, in general much, much better. I still have mild flare-ups from time to time but for me it was the best option and I have no plans to come off of it unless something worse happens. I have had this disease for 31 years and have seen the progess in the treatments. This is the first one that made a real difference for me.

I hope that you continue to do well on it.
12-29-2007, 05:43 PM   #16
amor151
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good to know that imuran can work then. wat dosage do you take momof3? im currently on 50mg but have heard of people on over 200mg of the stuff. already it seems to have improved my health abit and im really hoping this continues as my GCSE's loom ever closer and connot afford to miss any more time off school. my doctors have decided that wednesday will be the day i begin to decrease my preds dose as bloodtests and symptoms are good. every time ive gone down to 10mg ive suffered really bad flare ups and have my fingers crossed that the imuran will help this. thanks alot for all the info recieved so far.
12-29-2007, 07:00 PM   #17
Kev
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Just keep in mind that the symptoms of pred withdrawal can mimic those of IBD too. You will probably feel really bad coming off the pred, it may be your disease flaring, or it could be just withdrawal. As for imuran dosage, my doc was aiming to work me up to 250 mg per day. never got past 100 mg a day. it depends on the extent of your disease, symptoms, and of course body mass.
12-29-2007, 09:17 PM   #18
Momof3
 
I am currently on 125mg/day. I had to go down 2.5mg of prednisone every two weeks because I would have a flare if we dropped it more than that. Took a long time. I think I started out at 100mg of imuran and went up to 125. At one point I think he had me up to 150 for a short time but found it did not really make a difference. I've been on 125 for quite a while now. I still have flares but they are mild and are usually manageable with a chance in diet (low residue). Every now and then I end up in urgent care but it is usually after a period of a lot of stress.
12-30-2007, 07:08 PM   #19
amor151
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mmmm im sure stress is linked with CD somehow. over these holidays ive felt great yet before them while at school i was feeling horrendous due to the stress school brings. it may be the imuran kicking in but im sure stress is a factor.

yeah i think my doctor plans to reduce my preds dosage very slowly. As for my final imuran dose i should hopefully find that out on wednesday as i go back to hospital AGAIN for bloodtest results and for more information on my previous endoscopys and the changes that have happened.

more news on wednesday hopefully.
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