Is Imuran Working?

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Travel Man
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/23/2010 6:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone!

I was recently diagnosed with UC/Chrones (the doctor still is unable to distinguish between the two) in July 2010. My first flare was bad, but not as bad as the second I encountered about 1 month ago. Considering the Asacol was not working, my doctor put me on Imuran at 150 mg a day (3 tablets). And I started at 40mg of Prednisone, but am now tapering down. So I guess I have two questions. Is it normal to flare up pretty badly when tapering of Prednisone? I am down to 20mg now, and I feel like the symptoms are coming back. And the second question would be, how would you know when the Imuran has kicked in? I feel like I will never know if its working if I don't come off the steroids, but then again I don't want to come of the Prednisone, because I am afraid of being as sick as I was before! Every night and day I drink an E-mergency thing and take a Vitamin C supplement, but I keep getting a cold! Does this mean the Imuran is starting to work? Or is my immune system just that bad :p Thank you all for listening, and have a Merry Christmas!

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3037
   Posted 12/23/2010 6:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Has your doctor been monitoring your blood work since you've been on Imuran? It does take a few months to feel the full effect of the medication.

You may need to stay at a higher dose of Pred until you can get things under control a little better. If you are at 20mg now, how did you feel at 25mg? How quickly are you tapering? Have you let your doctor know the symptoms are back?

With our disease it is important to wash your hands with soap and hot water often!!! Make sure it is the first thing you do when you come home...don't touch your face when at work or shopping...when around sick people wash even more or carry hand sanitizer. I was on Imuran for the better part of 8 years and while I was sick a lot in the beginning I was able to avoid colds/flus for many of the later years:)

Welcome to the forum!!
Crohn’s dx 1989
some terrible years before my
temporary ileo in 2001
Proctocolectomy w/end ileo in 2008
...wish I knew then what I know NOW!

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14994
   Posted 12/23/2010 8:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Travelman and welcome to Healingwell. We have a post here by GDen that discusses stopping Asacol. You might want to read it. I wonder if it might be a good idea to go back onto the Asacol along with the Imuran. Maybe that might help the Imuran some. Imuran can take up to 4 mos to kick in. Thats why they usually start it at the same time as Prednisone. Also, as I wean down I will have a few rougher days until my adjusts to the difference.

As for getting sick more often, I would follow Ohio's suggestions of washing your hands alot, not touching your face etc. I work and I go around and spray the copiers and printers etc with Lysol a couple of times a week so that I am not touching germy surfaces and getting sick. Another thing thats helped my immunity alot is Vitamin D3. I have had folks falling like flies with colds and flu around me and I have yet to get sick (knocking on wood).

Hugs!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease
Crohn's Disease for over 35 years. Currently on Asacol, Protonix, 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!

Travel Man
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/23/2010 4:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much Ohio and Nanners! Yea my doctor has been monitoring my blood work since I started the Imuran. My white blood cell count was quite high, but he believes that is due to the Prednisone. I have been getting blood work done every other week, and it has not changed much.

As for the tapering, I had been reducing my doses by 10 mg every two weeks. In my opinion, I believe this is too fast, and that I should be going down in 5 mg increments. I talked to my doctor today, and since my symptoms are seeming to come back, and since I REFUSE to come out of remission when I had been doing so well, we upped the dosage back to 30 mg of Prednisone, and then I hope to just decrease 5 mg from there.

Thanks for the info on staying healthy with the Imuran. Another question... I have always had a very strong immune system, and will that affect how long it takes for the Imuran to kick in? I can't quite seem to fully understand how it works, and I know they say that many people do not know exactly how Imuran works, but what do you two think?

Also, Nanners, I will discuss with my doctor about using both Asacol and Imuran. I thought about that before, but I thought I heard once that using the two together may cause medical problems. Haha, guess that should not be too much of an issue though, considering we have somewhat of a medical problem already :p

Hope you both have a Merry Christmas!

notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 9590
   Posted 12/23/2010 5:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I wish I could offer a better answer but I am on 6mp and tapering off prednisone and I don't know if it's working either. I think all we can do is wait and be patient. I've been on 6mp for quite a while but I was never in the theraputic range until a few months ago when I added allupurinol. Does your doctor tell you if you're in the theraputic range? Since starting the allupurinol, my WBC has dropped. Prior to starting it, I think it was always coming back the same, not high but not where it should have been if 6mp were effecting me correctly. I have had a lot of relapses when trying to taper. I think 10mg is too fast. My first taper wsa 10mg a week from 40mg to 0mg, that didn't work well at all for me but it seems to work for other people. I am going really slowly now that I am below 10mg. I don't want to relapse.

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14994
   Posted 12/24/2010 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Yeah 10 mg is too fast. I have always weaned at 5mg every 5 days or week. You can also when you get down to like 10 mg try going down 2.5 mg every week and I think you will have less issues. Hugs!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease
Crohn's Disease for over 35 years. Currently on Asacol, Protonix, 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!
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