Remission & azathioprine

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cat_eyes
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/15/2010 7:51 AM (GMT -7)   
So my doctor wants me to start taking Imuran today while I'm in remission. I'm a little bit worried and I was hoping that after my surgery and after this nightmare was over I wouldn't need to be on any more medication.
 
So my question goes out to all the people who are in remission or those who were, is continuing medication for a long term period a good idea when in remission? Has anyone been on remission and have taken Imuran as a maintenance drug? My doctor said it can lead to long term effects such as lymphoma but that is in rare cases confused

Roni
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2480
   Posted 9/15/2010 8:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, continuing treatment for a long time is a very good idea, since surgery doesn't cure and relapse can happen very quickly. My cd recurred immediately after my resection. I went on pentasa, but I can't remember how soon after my resection. I seem to have the type of illness that always stews in there though on some level.

Are you already on Pentasa? It is a very common treatment after surgery and doesn't absorb very much systematically and it has been shown to reduce rates of disease recurrence. People generally stay on pentasa after resection for life (if they don't get sick again, which is possible).

Best wishes.

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 9/15/2010 9:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Please whatever you do, take maintenance medications. I once enjoyed a nearly 20 year remission med free. Would I do it again, HECK no! While I was busy getting on with my life, thinking I didn't need meds, the disease never forgot me. It was in there doing its damage on a microscopic level without me knowing it, until finally I was completely obstructed.

You have a fresh start now since you have had surgery. The meds will be your tool to keeping healthy and continuing to enjoy your remission. Your doctor is right, get on these meds and soon so you don't have to have a repeat surgery like I did. 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"*

Kiwi12
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 486
   Posted 9/15/2010 10:00 AM (GMT -7)   
As usual nanners gives very good advise :)

I had a remission after surgery but wasn't put on maintenace meds because I was very ill with kidney stuff and within a year it is back, rampant and they are looking at the next 'level' of drugs for me which looks like humira.

Imuran just may give your years of keeping both symptoms away and the illness in remission.

Really hope so :)

Zanne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 9/15/2010 10:21 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been on 6MP (sister drug to Imuran) for over 12 years. It has kept things relatively calm and kept me out of the hospital and most importantly out of the operating room. I went undiagnosed for 10 years, therefore untreated. Like Nanners, the disease was doing its damage while I was living my life. It took 10 years and 3 resections to bring things back under control. I will NEVER go un-medicated again.

By the way, I have had little to no side effects from the 6MP, other than my liver levels tend to test high every so often then go back down to acceptable levels. That just seems to be the way my body works, and my doctors are OK with it.
Suzanne

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!


Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

cat_eyes
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/15/2010 12:26 PM (GMT -7)   
thank you guys, you all have experiences with this and I am glad I can on the forum and asked this question, my doctor sometimes talks and doesn't really seem to give me a say in my treatment, but it looks like he's right. It makes sense to be on a maintence drug so I will do it. He wanted to put me on Humira again as my maintence medication but I didn't want to get poked every week again, it hurts too much. So I will be starting Imuran, not Pentasa. Does it make a difference what kinda of drug is used?

Roni
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2480
   Posted 9/15/2010 12:57 PM (GMT -7)   
It's up to you how strong you want to go. Imuran is stronger and more systematic than pentasa. But there are so many factors to consider, so best to decide with your doc. You could always do pentasa and imuran.
Pentasa coats the Terminal Ileum to prevent inflammation/infection there, imuran hinders the entire immune system from over reacting, which also puts you at a bit higher risk for other infections, depending on the dose.

cat_eyes
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/15/2010 1:45 PM (GMT -7)   
all I know is that i was on Pentase the first year I was diagnosed with Crohn's but then stopped after a bit because he said it's more for Crohn's in the large intestine and my Crohn's is in the small intestine. Next time I see him i will make sure to ask about pentasa. thanks again!

tooth
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 337
   Posted 9/15/2010 2:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Been on Imuran for (going on) 8 years. Been in remission for most of those. I've had a few breakthrough flares while on it, but it kept me in remission for 7.5 of those years. My Crohn's has been active in the past few months, but the Imuran is keeping the symptoms down enough that my Crohn's is still managable.

I'd definately say get on meds asap, because it will delay the inevitable recurrence of your Crohn's.

cat_eyes
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/15/2010 8:13 PM (GMT -7)   
thank you all for all your help

crohnielass
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1118
   Posted 9/18/2010 4:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I too am starting Imuran today along with an 8 week course of pred as my inflammation markers were slightly raised docs not sure if this is due to crohns of fistula. Im really happy to be going on Imuran as i have heard many people get quite a long remmision from using it good luck im sure sure you will be fine. Bev x

Roni
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2480
   Posted 9/18/2010 4:50 AM (GMT -7)   
My GI told me after two week of pred if I feel better, start imuran.
Well at 2 weeks, I didn't feel better, now at three and a half, I feel a little better, but not better.
Past experience with imuran was mediocre. I don't even know if it did anything.
I'm thinking about starting imuran anyway because maybe it does help a little.

Any advice or words of wisdom?

cat_eyes
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/18/2010 9:16 AM (GMT -7)   
as for advice, my doctor told me to take it at nighttime before I got to bed so that I wouldn't feel any of its side effects, which helped me. But now that I have to re-start Imuran I need 2 take it twice a day so I don't know what to expect as for side effects.

I wish you and I luck and hope that it will help us!

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 9/18/2010 9:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I tried Imuran and it gave me alot of nausea whether I took it at night or not. Switched to the sister med 6mp, took it at bedtime and had no side effects at all. 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"*

vixen
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 794
   Posted 9/18/2010 1:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Son is on azathioprine and pentasa-recently came off the pentasa with disasterous results now back on it at double the dose and things have stabilised again. In his case he needs the two drugs

Bane
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 589
   Posted 9/18/2010 2:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Up until about 3 months ago, I'd been taking Azathioprine since diagnosis almost 7 years ago. Started out on a higher dose, eventually worked my way down to 50mg/day. I stopped taking it because the new trial I'm in demands it. It was never enough to keep me in remission by itself, but it was enough to keep me out of the ER.
Diagnosed with Crohn's late December 2004. Narrowly avoiding a full-blown flare using nothing but sheer awesomeness.
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