Imuran and Iron question

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/28/2010 6:36 AM (GMT -6)   
My Dr. wants me to start Imuran. I was just dx'd  (crohns) in Feb. and have been on Lialda, pred (weaning off now) and many vit/supplements.  I've had 3 weeks of unrelenting pain and it is just starting to slow a bit and now he wants to put me on this.
I've just started using Intestinew, probiotics, curcumin and a different iron (ferrochel chelated iron bisglycinate) and the next day I started feeling better. (along with all the other stuff listed above) 
It is a powerful drug and that really scares me.  Anyone have any experience with Imuran they care to share?
 Also has anyone who is anemic tried this type of iron? Everything else seems to REALLY mess with me. I believe that is what actually started this pain I've been fighting.
Thanks for all the info and sharing y'all do. It has really helped me alot over the past few months.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 5/28/2010 8:10 AM (GMT -6)   
We have had many who have used Imuran or its sister med 6mp. There are some members here who have been on them with success for over 10 years. I say give it a shot. But also remember that it can take about 3-4 mos to reach full efficacy. Good luck!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease 
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*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 Jun 2006
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 5/28/2010 8:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I started 100mg of Imuran about 2 weeks ago.  I was on it briefly before, but then was scheduled for surgery, so I stopped.  Anyway, it did make me nauseous (only slighty) for a few days, but now I'm not nauseous at all.   Also, I had more fatigue for a few days too.  I haven't been taking it long enough to know if it's going to do any good, but the side effects thus far have been really mild.  Good luck and give it a try.

Crohn's Disease for 18 years.. 1st Resection June 2009 still having trouble-anastomostic leak and now fistula.  Currently on Flagyl, Entocort.  Will have a "redo" resection on April 6.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 5/28/2010 12:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry to hear about what you're going through. Hope you get some relief soon. I have no experience with Imuran, but I had an allergic reaction to the bisglycinate iron (incredibly itchy rash and hives all over my torso) that started a day or two after I started it. The doctor thought it was a heat rash at first, then some type of yeast infection but it didn't respond to anything... took about a week to figure it out. A very miserable week.

On a side note, iron is just terrible for the colon. I've been researching it this week, after ending up in the ER last weekend with horrible bloody diarrhea. My colonoscopy yesterday showed 20 cm of inflammation in my descending colon, but no other problems. After trying to figure out what caused this to happen, I went back through my food/med diary and made a chart to see what was different. I had eaten some gluten and some dairy over the past two months, which I haven't done in a long time, but nothing in a while so I didn't think it was that. I had also taken Advil and aspirin a couple of times in March and April, but nothing for a month. What was significant, however, was that my doctor had started me on oral iron supplements because my ferritin level is low. I started them sporadically in April, but took them EVERY DAY in May. They were touted as being "gentler on the digestive system" (one was a ferrous fumarate formula with a stool softener mixed in, and one was a polysaccahride iron complex) but I found that there is really no such thing as gentle on the digestive system when it comes to non-heme iron.

I also attribute my inflammation to the iron because of the location of it: in the descending colon, where stool is held. If it had been caused by the gluten or dairy or Advil or aspirin, I would have expected them to see small ulcers or inflammation MUCH higher up in the digestive tract. But the fact is, so little of the oral iron we take is absorbed, and the rest just passes on through to the colon. It has contact with the entire mucosal lining along the way, but where it really lingers and stays in contact with the colon mucosa is in the descending colon while the stool forms.

Here are some of the things I found:

I'm looking into alternative forms of iron (possibly a heme-iron product like Proferrin) to raise my ferritin levels. I will never take a non-heme iron supplement again.

Just want to spread the word so that other people can be on the lookout for this kind of reaction, too, since so many of us are anemic and taking some form of iron. I'm wondering if these iron supplements aren't doing us more harm then good. There has to be a better way.

Best of luck to you!
Crohn's possibly since early 20's (bowel obstruction)
Colonoscopy 2008: ulcers in rectum
Small capsule endoscopy: ulcers in terminal ileum
Chronis RLQ pain, no diarrhea
Gluten-free, dairy-free, low sugar diet

Post Edited (AMinNJ) : 5/28/2010 2:38:42 PM (GMT-6)

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