07-07-2012, 12:40 PM   #1
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Location: Indiana
Imuran (Azathioprine)

Just started taking it for my Crohn's. Feelin pretty tired. Anyone tried this treatment? Thoughts?
07-07-2012, 02:23 PM   #2
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I was on aza a couple of years ago now but I know it did make me feel lousy. There are lots of others on this drug and of you search the forum there are loads of posts about it. Hope it works for you and the tiredness may wear off after a while on the tablets x
07-07-2012, 05:55 PM   #3
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Been on it 2 years. I feel fine.
07-07-2012, 10:47 PM   #4
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It makes many people very tired for the first month or so, but that side effect generally gets better with time. I was only on it for 7 weeks when I had to stop due to pancreatitis.
Ulcerative colitis

Total colectomy with ileostomy featuring Sideshow Bob since January 2012

"The colon seems an unlikely candidate for dramatic effect, but now and then it serves that purpose well." The Associated Press Guide to Punctuation
07-08-2012, 03:15 AM   #5
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Hello there
Have you been over to the Aza/imuran subforum in the treatment section? Sorry, I'd post a link but am still clueless how to do it on my iPhone.
Fatigue, nausea and headaches are common in the first few weeks of taking it. Are you having regular blood tests - FBC and liver count? You could ask them to test your B12 levels too as low iron can also cause tiredness.
Dx Crohn's terminal ileum April 2011
Ileocaecal resection & partial cystectomy Sept 2012
3.5 years happy remission, in mild flare since Feb 2016 with related Portal Vein Thrombosis

Previous: Prednisolone, Mesren, Omeprazole, Infliximab, Azathioprine
Current: Pentasa, Librax, Warfarin
Helen x
07-15-2012, 07:42 PM   #6
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Location: Indiana
Thanks for the response everyone
07-15-2012, 09:53 PM   #7
D Bergy
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Join Date: Apr 2007
I was on it until recently. Took me off because of upcoming surgery.

I never had any discernible side effects or any tiredness. Everyone responds differently to this and most any other drug.

Your tiredness may go away in time. No way to know for certain.

Nothing I post here is to be construed as medical advice. I am not a doctor or health professional.
They are simply my opinions.
07-22-2012, 07:37 PM   #8
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Indiana
Yah I've been feelin better, the first few days were brutal though
07-22-2012, 07:53 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: fort worth, Texas
I have been on it for almost 4 years and I'm doing well but ask your Dr. mabe you just don't mesh.
07-23-2012, 10:40 AM   #10
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Imuran made me soooo tired it was unreal. It also eventually caused me to be anemic which added to the problem. You should already be getting your blood tested monthly but if that's not happening make sure they do it. You need to keep an eye on your iron, hemaglobin and white blood cells.
Diagnosed with Crohn's September 2009

50mg Imuran - Jun 2010
increased to 150mg Imuran - Jan 2011
5mg/kg Remicade every 8 weeks - Mar 2011
stopped Imuran - Aug 2011
7.5mg/kg Remicade every 8 weeks - Nov 2011
Remicade is still working - Nov 2014
Colonoscopy shows no Crohn's! - Dec 2014

Current meds - 7.5mg/kg Remicade
07-23-2012, 11:55 AM   #11
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I took it for almost 2yrs and when I stopped it my nausea and fatigue got better.
08-05-2012, 07:47 PM   #12
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Been taking 100mg of imuran a day for 2 months now. Was on 150 mg for a while but had a dodgy liver function test result and therefore reduced. Then increased to 125mg but started to feel constantly nauseous for some reason. I'm coping fine with 100mg, but my consultant said it takes 3-6 months to have full effect, and that was if I was taking 150mg. I may try to increase dose to that again soon, but does anyone have an idea of how much longer it might take to have full effect on 100mg compared to 150?
08-05-2012, 10:05 PM   #13
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hey ive been on azathioprine for bout 8yrs i take 200mg a day,im always tired and never have energy but ive always put it down to the disease its self, i went off it for a bout a year (as i didnt like the side effects) but i got sicker then ever it keeps the flars under control so ive been told i hate this drug but ive been told there is nothing else as i want to start a family and this drug ive been told can mke you sterille and if you are lucky to conceive it can coarse major birth deffects? what to do hey?
08-06-2012, 12:45 AM   #14
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
I've been on azathioprine for almost 11 years. Most of the time the dose has been 125 mg but for about a year and a half I was on 175 mg. I have blood tests every month to monitor the liver but have never had a problem. I've been anemic all my life but currently my levels are really good! I've never noticed any other side effects at all. Sounds like I'm one of the lucky ones.
DX - Crohn's Disease 1991
Current meds: Azathioprine, Remicade, Pariet, Percocet, Effexor
Past meds: too many to remember! But a super long stint on Prednisone that made me gain 40lbs - I'll never do that again!
Surgeries: Resection 1992; Ileostomy in 2000; Proctectomy 2004; 11 surgeries from 2000-2007 for various problems associated with Crohn's (resections, prolapses, hernias; twisting of the intestine, etc.); Surgery #13 is imminent to repair a fistula and possibly do another resection
08-09-2012, 09:46 AM   #15
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Location: Dublin, Ireland
Hi Darlene,

ive been told can mke you sterille and if you are lucky to conceive it can coarse major birth deffects? what to do hey?

I've just started on 50mg and am very worried about this. Where did you find this out? I can't seem to find a thread on it.

08-10-2012, 02:29 AM   #16
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Location: adelaide, South Australia, Australia
hi ali
i was told by a dr and was also told there is no other medication that will keep the flares under control, but was also told you have to be off it for a good 12 months before even trying coase as you said coarses major birth defects...so is it worth the risk with not taking it for 12 months?? or if any1 else here knows off something else to take to keep it under control?
08-10-2012, 07:52 AM   #17
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I started taking Azathioprine in 1998 when I was told it was the last resort before surgery. For around 7 years it kept the Crohn's under control but then it stopped being effective. I tried various other drugs but with little success. I'm now suffering from a low platelet count which my haematologist believes is a side effect of the Azathioprine.

So the question is - was seven years of controlled Crohn's, and putting off surgery, worth it when weighed up against the eventual low platelet count (thrombocytopenia)? At present I don't have an answer as the knock-on effects of thrombocytopenia are still unfolding.
Wrestling The Octopus.com - the companion website to my, shortly to be published, book on 4 decades of Crohn's and other issues

Not taking Crohn's meds at present. In the past - pred, pentasa, aza, entocort, infliximab - with varying degrees of success

Currently on :
Loperamide/Colesevelam to keep the BAM at bay
Propanolol/Omeprazole for PVT
B12 injections

Twitter - @crohnoid
09-10-2012, 05:36 PM   #18
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Just started Azathioprine today. Finally tapering off prednisone. Next step is Humira.
Anyone on a combination of Humira and Azathioprine? If so hows it working for ya?
09-10-2012, 07:34 PM   #19
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Hi ali, I was told by my specialist to not even try whilst on aza...its a pretty hard ng to deal with when really wanting a family,i recantly had surgery so im thinking odff seeing how I would go not taking as im doing pretty well except having no energy im lucky to have a good partner that cleans as im ALWAYS tired.
09-17-2012, 03:46 PM   #20
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Location: La Palma, California
My wife I started taking Azathioprine in 2002, on 150 mg since then, she has been fine all these years, in 2003 we had a healthy baby boy, she was taking Imuran during her pregnancy and it didn't effect the baby.
09-17-2012, 04:41 PM   #21
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Thats great to know that there is hope
09-18-2012, 07:18 PM   #22
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I've been on it since 1991 at varing doses starting at many years for 75 mg, upped to 200 mg and now down to 150 mg/day. My wife and I just had a healthy boy 16 months ago.
09-19-2012, 05:17 AM   #23
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Location: United Kingdom
I've been on it since January. From Jan-March I felt really 'dopey' and my parents noticed a small change in my behaviour. I was clingy,on edge and paranoid. I was also on high doses of pred at the time being weaned slowly so that prob did not help.

Aza changed my life now that ive been on it a good few months I have my health back! I sometimes even forget the fact I have Crohns.. I hope its as much of a success story for you as it had been for me and a lot of other people

All the best

Diagnosed Crohns Disease

Current Meds:
Azathioprine 125mg
Ferrous Gluconate
Androlic Acid
Cod liver oil

Past Meds:
Elemental 028

" No one can get in the way of somebody who knows where they are going"
09-19-2012, 10:43 PM   #24
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My 17 years old daughter has been on aza since February 2012 and is in clinicial remission with no symptoms.

She does have a mild leukopenia from aza and mild anemia (but the anemia was worse before starting aza).
Mother of Sarah dx aged 16, Jan 2012
DX - CD 1/12, asthma
Small bowel to small bowel fistula

Meds: ), azathioprine 200mg, Mesalazine 1.2g x 2, seretide 250 x 2 (asthma), ventolin (as needed)

Currently no supplements.

Has previously taken Multi B, Caltrate, B12 & Iron

Prednisolone (from 30 mg 01/02/2012 to 17/06/2012, 30mg 24/10/12-28/12/12, 50mg 24/1/13-27/4/13)
12-30-2013, 09:00 PM   #25
Join Date: Nov 2010
I had a baby boy in October with extreme birth deffects. I attribute it to the aza.
12-31-2013, 12:35 PM   #26
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: West Sussex, United Kingdom
I'm on 150mg Azathioprine a day now, gradually increasing it as they were afraid that my liver wouldn't hack it.

As far as side effects after reading the info sheet the only ones other than tiredness that I suffer is restless leg syndrome, but as far as the fatigue goes, I've just kinda gotten used to it, I remember it was alot worse earlier on in the treatment, don't know if I've gotten used to it or it gets better

Sorry I don't have any better news

(But wait, I do!)

I forgot to mention that once I got put up to 150mg the majority of my symptoms cleared up, I didn't notice the Pentasa/Mesazaline's effects, it was only until I got put up to 100 that I started to feel a bit better, then 150 I am a hundred times healthier than before.
4x500mg of Pentasa Mesalazine
3x50mg Azathioprine
50-150mg Metoclopramide
Prednisone Only after hospitalised from not being able to eat
01-08-2014, 02:25 PM   #27
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: colchester, United Kingdom
IM on Aza 100mg a day, and i have been for about 8 weeks. I have been diagnosed with IBD most likely caused by Crohns although UC hasn't been ruled out at this time either. MY question is:

I am a keen runner (or at least was) and i have read a number of accounts regarding peoples lethargy whilst taking this medication. Is me taking Azathioprine and Pentasa as my maintenance drugs, likely to effect my journey back to health and a decent marathon time? it may seem like an unimportant question to some, but it is my method of dealing with the stresses of working life and is important to me.
Thanks for any helpful replies

01-18-2014, 07:50 AM   #28
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Arctic Circle, Finland

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I have been taking Azathioprine in varying doses since 2000. Changes in white cell counts few times helped to find right dosage. Small break in 2005 when I had resection in Ileum and Sigmoid colon. Some problems after surgery lead to one year with Remicade but otherwise Aza has been my only drug ever since I started taking it. It helped me to kick the steroids for good! I never had any problems with it but couple of years ago I developed annoying rash that was diagnosed as folliculitis and dermatitis. They still bug me all the time and apparently caused by Aza.

Azamun has not affected on my life much (in negative way that is, it has mostly been great for me!) I travel +130 days a year, do long days in the mountains, hike regularly for hours in deep snow and make 3-4 hour ascents and overnight stays up in the mountains. Few years ago I had bad anemia and this was not possible but it has been going better and better since I got my bloodlevels right!

Aza is not a nightmare for everyone, give it a go it might be just the right thing for you!

Last edited by Juuh; 01-18-2014 at 08:52 AM.

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