Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Imuran/Azathioprine/6-MP » Prescribed 6-MP for 'mild' Crohn's

08-10-2013, 04:26 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: BC, Canada
Prescribed 6-MP for 'mild' Crohn's

I got diagnosed with Crohn's colitis a month ago and have since been on Asacol. It hasn't done much so my GI is now putting me on 6-MP (Purinethol). My symptoms are fairly mild, mostly cramping and issues in the morning but the rest of the day is usually not bad. My GI says that my symptoms are less than others whose colon looks similar.

Like a lot of folks in this forum, I'm kind of concerned with the list of side-effects (I mean, come on, cancer is a possible side effect??).

Has anyone else started on 6-MP while their symptoms were mild? Is this a regular course of treatment?

Diagnosed: July 2013
Medication: Asacol, 6MP
08-10-2013, 04:40 PM   #2
nogutsnoglory's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New York

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If the Crohn's is really mild doctors generally will stick to a Mesalamine drug like Pentasa. I suppose your doctor just wants to help your symptoms and you aren't finding relief in the 5-ASA category. Can you talk to your GI about trying another drug in that milder class before going on 6mp?

I would also encourage you to look into Low Dose Naltrexone ( which many here and around the world have found to be safe and effective.
08-10-2013, 04:44 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: BC, Canada
I think he wants to try to force it into submission as quickly as possible before it gets any worse. I will talk to him about the options you mentioned, though. Thanks.
08-10-2013, 04:56 PM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

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My son was put on Prednisone and 6mp upon diagnosis and he was said to have "mild" crohns. He was 11 years old at the time so it is possible that was just because a pediatric case.

Our GI said that "mild" was how his disease presented on the day of his scopes. That we would be rolling the dice as to how the future course of the disease presented itself. I think it is difficult to know so they would rather have you on a stronger med initially then under-medicate and have damage done. Especially with 5 Asa's as they can treat symptoms but not handle full mucosal healing.

We were also told that once my son reached remission that we could re-evaluate then. But the longer things simmer, the harder it can be for that to happen. So if you wait and try less proven meds and they do not work, once you go back to 6mp it might be harder for it to do its job.

Again, this is a pediatric case so it might be handled differently but I just wanted to share our experience because we had the same concerns that you have when my son was diagnosed.

We are having great success with 6mp. I am sure you will find what is right for you.

Mom of Johnny
Dx Oct 11 2011 Crohns disease
Prednisone done 12/30/11
6mp 50mg every day
Allopurinol 50mg -discontinued per new G.I. on 11/01/12
Multi Vitamin
Vitamin D3 1000mg
08-10-2013, 05:08 PM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: BC, Canada
Thanks for the input, Johnnysmom,

Glad you're having great success. I can't imagine having to go through this at 11 - hope it goes into a long remission and they figure out how to cure it in the meantime.
08-27-2013, 10:33 PM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Texas
I have mild Crohns, having about 4 major flares a year and a messed up colon the rest of the time (which I will take any day compared to full blown).

I have been given 6-MP twice but have severe side effects that I stop. The muscle and joint pain is severe. I will not take it again.

Good luck with your treatment.
10-06-2013, 05:18 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Barrington, New Jersey

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Asacol and 5 ASA drugs are great for ulcerative colitis. However, they are usually not enough for treating Crohn's Disease as the ulceration in Crohn's is deeper and the disease can be in any part of the GI tract, not just the colon. Therefore, GI doctors can recommend a person with Crohn's to take an immunosuppressant, such as 6mp or Azathioprine, alone with Asacol or a 5 ASA drug. I am presently taking 6mp and Lialda and the combination is working well for me. The fact that you are experiencing cramping indicates that the Asacol is not quite enough for you. Please remember while there are many possible side effects for 6mp, you may be just fine and not get any of them. Also, your doctor will monitor you through blood tests and if there is a problem, he or she will lower the dosage or take you off of it altogether.
Vitamin D and B 12

Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Imuran/Azathioprine/6-MP » Prescribed 6-MP for 'mild' Crohn's
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