What Would You Do?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 1/28/2009 1:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Background: After being sick for a while, I was diagnosed with mild/moderate Crohn's in November 2008. I went on Entocort and it made me feel great within a matter of days. I went off Entocort, with Asacol as my maintenance med, and had another bad flare a week later which lasted until just a few days ago when I was prescribed Entocort again and it kicked in.

Since I only lasted about a week without a flare up when I was off Entocort, my dr wants to put me on Imuran to avoid having to use Entocort so often (and to avoid frequent flares). However, based on what I've read, the side effects of Imuran seem possibly severe.

I am thinking of asking my doctor to see how long it takes to flare again after this round of Entocort, then deciding about Imuran. It seems a bit soon to start taking Imuran if I was diagnosed with only mild/moderate Crohn's. Also, it seems like Remicade is more effective and has less side effects, so should I ask him to consider skipping Imuran and just doing Remicade?

I appreciate any advice you can give! Thanks!
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease; Meds: Entocort & Asacol; female in late 20s.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20552
   Posted 1/28/2009 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
From my knowledge, imuran is used as a maintenance drug just as asacol and asacol also can have side effects...I really don't think they'd consider Remicade if you're mild/moderate with your symptoms. I would give the imuran a shot because many do very well with it and you won't know how it will or will not affect you until you actually try it.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 3932
   Posted 1/28/2009 2:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I'd try it & see if I could stand the side-eefects before I wrote it off. The only med I ever directly refused was Methotrexate. But I had too many bad associations with it as far as Cancer Chemo. I think you are doing the same here..


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 126
   Posted 1/28/2009 2:45 PM (GMT -6)   
yeah i dont think they will try remicade if you dont try imuran first .... plus in my case and i think in most cases the side effects of remicade is much more then the side effects of imuran .... I have never had any side effects of imuran ... plus you have to go to a dr office to get the remicade and it takes about 2 or 3 hours to get it rather than just taken a pill with imuran .... so if it was me I would try the imuran first for sure ......
> 27 year old female < 
 > Diagonsed with Crohns disease in 2000 <
> In 2009 I was told my Crohns is Crohn's Colitis ~ they said the cd in my rectum, colon and all through my small intestine I was told that on a scale from 1 to 4 mine is a 4 i about cried ..... I dont feel that sick : ( <
 > Medication - pentasa(4000mg), imuran(100mg), prednisone(40mg untill around Feb 9 then i get to tapper), potassium, vitamin C, multivitamin, b-12, iron, and fish oil, plus i will start humira around Feb. 9 <
> I thank the Lord every day for my amazing husband and wonderful family <

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 497
   Posted 1/28/2009 3:31 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Catpower,

I was Imuran for 4 months and was recently taken off of it, due to getting started on Remicade.  The only real side effect I had with Imuran was thinning hair. 

Anyhow, my GI decided to move me to Remicade during my last flare.  I believe the Imuran would have worked for me after time--however, I am a slow metabolizer so it takes longer for that drug to start working.  My GI didn't want to waste any more time and wanted to get the flare under control.  Also, I had been on prednisone for a long time and he wanted to get me off of it.

I personally think it is a good idea to give Imuran a try.  It's a lot less expensive than Remicade. 



Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 1/28/2009 3:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree that you should give the Imuran a chance. As far as the side effects you are concerned about, those apply to people who take the medication at much higher doses than we do.

For some folks the Imuran can cause some nausea, but that is usually helped by taking it with food, say at dinnertime. I prefer the sister med 6mp. (It is the same med, just metabolizes differently). I found that if I took it at bedtime, I didn't have any side effects with it. I too did have some hairloss, but that can be offset by taking a good folic acid supplement with the med. Hope that helps.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 1/28/2009 4:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone. I'm still going to see if my doctor agrees with the "wait and see" approach (meaning, wait and see if I continue to constantly flare while off Entocort) before starting Imuran. If he disagrees, I guess I'll give it a shot. My brother was on 6-MP for his Crohn's (which is in the same family of drugs as Imuran) and he had some bad side effects, which is partially why I'm scared (meanwhile, he has had no side effects from Remicade). But I do realize that there is a risk of side effects with every drug, and it's possible I might be lucky enough to not have any.
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease; Meds: Entocort & Asacol; female in late 20s.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/28/2009 6:29 PM (GMT -6)   
If you're going to pay for remicade out of your pocket, your doctor would put you on that right away if he/she thought it were best. But if not, insurance companies usually will not let you go straight to Remicade if you haven't tried Immuran yet. There are no studies showing that Remicade is better than Immuran so the insurance companies will make a big problem out of you wanting to go on Remicade first.
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