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python
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2003
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 2/11/2010 10:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello all, hope everyone is doing well. I have a question. Medicare switched my rx provider on me and they decided not to cover my cellcept anymore so my rheumy has put me on imuran. I take 2- 50mg pills at bedtime. I had my first dose last night. Can anyone who is taking it tell me anything about it?
Thanks
Donna
MCTD (SLE, Scleraderma, polymyocitis), Reynaud's, Hypo-Thyroidism, Pericardial Effusion/pericarditis, Irregular heartbeat, Hiatal hernia.
 Prednisone, Procardia XL, Methotrexate, Reglan, Lasix, Nexium, Potassium, Folic Acid, Synthroid, Cellcept, Toprol, 81mg Aspirin, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Multivitamin, Extra Strength Tylenol, Flexeril, Vicodin.


aimsgirl16
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1469
   Posted 2/11/2010 11:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Donna!

I took Imuran for about a year at 150 mg. I didnt have any side effects from Imuran except towards the end my red blood cells fell to below 9, which we are thinking that came from kidney failure but one can never be too sure. I also don't think I had any bennifits from taking it. I can never be sure since I don't know what it would have been like without it but my rhuemy and I both agree we don't think it did much good for me. But saying this I was also on cellcept for about 7 months and it didnt do anything either except I had a lot of side effects from cellcept!

Good luck on the switch over!!

MJLD
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1048
   Posted 2/11/2010 11:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello! Crazy insurance!!! Arrrggghhh!!! Cellcept is outrageous without insurance! I took imuran for years. I did have some problems with anemia. I'm sure you'll be getting blood work on a regular basis. I didn't really have any other side effects that I noticed, of course, I was on so much at the same time. Nothing major though. After a few years I had to come off because it started severely suppressing my counts and I was having to be transfused all the time. So, just make sure you get your labs done. Bless ya, Judy

Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7019
   Posted 2/11/2010 1:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I took Imuran for about a year with no side effects -- but no good came of it either. I don't think there is any way to predict who it will help and who it won't, it seems to be somewhat random.

Good luck with it, it is a less expensive alternative than Cellcept for sure!
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously" - Oscar Wilde


python
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2003
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 2/11/2010 2:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Amy, Judy and Lynnwood
Thanks so much for the response. I was doing very well with the cellcept, but since I have been off it (darn insurance!) I have been having skin tissue breakdown on my lower legs, resulting in more sores. I'm hoping for good results with the imuran. Crossing my fingers....
Donna
MCTD (SLE, Scleraderma, polymyocitis), Reynaud's, Hypo-Thyroidism, Pericardial Effusion/pericarditis, Irregular heartbeat, Hiatal hernia.
 Prednisone, Procardia XL, Methotrexate, Reglan, Lasix, Nexium, Potassium, Folic Acid, Synthroid, Cellcept, Toprol, 81mg Aspirin, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Multivitamin, Extra Strength Tylenol, Flexeril, Vicodin.


redrose77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 2/11/2010 2:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been on Imuran for quite a while but I take 150mg and was even on 200mg at one point for a few months. I would ask if there is a process to get a med approved that your insurance normally wouldn't cover if it is medically necessary and nothing else will do. Often times there is a way to do this but it would require your rheumy to participate in the process. Just a thought.
Dx:fibromyalgia 2002, systematic lupus 2005- definate CNS involvement dxed late 2005, psoriasis 2006, rheumatoid arthritis 2006, PTSD 2007, multiple allergies 2005, migraine, compression fractures T11 & T12, Sjögren's, damaged periphrial nerves 2007, exema
Tx: plaquenil, Enbrel, Tramadol, Singulair, Skelaxin, Baby Asprin, Imuran, Prilosec, lasix, Evoxac, Celebrex, Darvocet when things get too bad, prednisone again, various vitamin/mineral supplements, cozar
"Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible." T. E. Lawrence


FW
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 477
   Posted 2/11/2010 3:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I am currently taking generic cellcept. Could not begin to afford the name brand. Insurance covers all but about $175.00/month but it has made a tremendous difference. Tried the Imuran but had a severe reaction to it, so could not continue with it. Everyone is different so the Imuran could work better for you! Good Luck.
Take care, Fran

Dx: Lupus, sjogren's, celiac, severe allergies.
Daily Meds: Plaquenil, Zyrtec. Aciphex, Nasacort, Prozac, Ambien CR, CellCept, Bactrim
Daily Supplements: Calcium, B-100 Complex, Daily Vitamins.
As Needed Meds: Epinephrine, Benadryl, Proventil, Xopenex, Tylenal, Darvocet, Prednisone.


Ides
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7077
   Posted 2/11/2010 4:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been taking Imuran for 5.5 years. I started on it for my Crohn's disease, but when I developed lupus they increased my dosage of Imuran to help with that.

Imuran can cause nausea. I find it most helpful taking it with food. Taking it at bedtime should decrease any nausea issues. In the beginning, I did feel some fatigue but it didn't last long. My blood needed to be monitored every two weeks for the first 2 months, then monthly for 3 or 4 months. I did have a big drop in my white blood count in the beginning which I was told happens sometimes. I stopped Imuran for a week, my WBC came back up and I went back on the Imuran and had no further problems.

If you drink alcohol, a word of caution. about 5 days after I started Imuran it was my daughter's 21 birthday. I had a glass of white wine with our appetitizers. I got about half way through with the glass of wine and suddenly felt as if I had consumed the entire bottle! I talked with others I know that take Imuran and several of them had an identical experience when they first began Imuran and drank alcohol. I know longer have that happen but just wanted to make you aware of the possibility.
Moderator Crohn's Disease  & Osteoarthritis Forums
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, lupus, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, peripheral artery disease, degenerative disc disease, asthma, severe allergy and a host of other medical problems.
 


MJLD
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1048
   Posted 2/11/2010 5:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey I wanted to suggest that you contact the company that manufactures Cellcept. I just remember one time when I had just quit working and hadn't yet gotten my disability my doc got the med donated from the manufacturer. It is def. worth checking in to!!! Judy

Ellie27
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 119
   Posted 2/12/2010 2:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Python, I'm just wondering how you're finding being on the Imuran? I am starting it for the first time today...kinda nervous in a way, but excited too...just with the hopes of having my energy go up some. Anything would help..what did you experience when you first started it?

Thanks
-Ellie
It is God that gives me the strength to carry on in the valleys of life and the wings to fly to the mountain tops
<FONT color=#008000>Dx: Diagnosed with Epilepsy Jan 2005, SLE July 2007, since then, Raynauds, Alopetia Areta, Vasculitis, discoid lesions, Endemetriosis March 2008. Meds: Tegretol, Plaquenil, quite often Flurbiprofen and Rabeprezole, as well as various other supplements/vitamins.


SmurfyShadow
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 2/14/2010 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Actually Medicare DOES cover Cellcept, you just need a prior authorization. How I know? I was on cellcept, AND I ironically have Medicare too. Immuran gave me horrid side effects, and I had to be removed off that. I had severe vomiting and loose stools of blood, I also lost my thick hair to really thin hair on Immuran. But each person is different. We can say what happened to us, but each person is different. Like if you read some of the above, some got lucky and didnt get any problems! Try the immuran, and if you did ok with cellcept and want to restart it ask your rheumy to do a prior authorization with medicare for it. Also, you will run into the same immuran, your insurance will kick it pretty fast. You are supposed to have a prior authorization for both of those medications. Your rheumy can talk to your insurance and get prior ops (slang for authroization) and get it all covered.
 
Smurfy Shadow/Desirèe 
DX: Wegener's Disease, Migraines, Diabetese Type II, PCOS, Lactose Intolerant, Benign Heart Murmer, Depression, Asthma, Asperger's Syndrome, Necrotizing Gramultous Inflamation in eye, A.D.D., Acid Reflux, Tumor Behind the Eye, Carpal Tunnel, Fibromyolgia, Clasterphobic, Arthritis
Medications:  Tri Nessa, Percocet, Metformin, Prilosec, Protonix, Zantac, Advair, Cingulair, Albuterol, Calcium + Vitamin D, Pro-Air, Pepcid, Rolaids, Zofran, Compuzeen, Refresh Plus Eye Drops  PRN: Epi-Pen, Albuterol Nebulizer, Benedryl
Undergoing Radiation Taking Lorazepam (Ativan) on Radiation Days


python
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2003
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 2/15/2010 10:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Ladies, thank you so much for your replies. I have been on the Imuran for 5 days now and the only problems I am having is nausea and headaches. I do take it at bedtime but have to get up a couple times a night for "nature calls", and it can be a little difficult getting settled and back to sleep. My rheumy has appealed the cellcept decision 3 times and aetna medicare turned us down flat. Other than the tummy trouble and headaches, I seem to be tolerating the Imuran ok. No flares lately (knocks on wood).
I hope everyone is doing as well as can be.
Donna
MCTD (SLE, Scleraderma, polymyocitis), Reynaud's, Hypo-Thyroidism, Pericardial Effusion/pericarditis, Irregular heartbeat, Hiatal hernia.
 Prednisone, Procardia XL, Methotrexate, Reglan, Lasix, Nexium, Potassium, Folic Acid, Synthroid, Cellcept, Toprol, 81mg Aspirin, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Multivitamin, Extra Strength Tylenol, Flexeril, Vicodin.


SmurfyShadow
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 2/15/2010 3:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hang in there Donna.
 
Smurfy Shadow/Desirèe 
DX: Wegener's Disease, Migraines, Diabetese Type II, PCOS, Lactose Intolerant, Benign Heart Murmer, Depression, Asthma, Asperger's Syndrome, Necrotizing Gramultous Inflamation in eye, A.D.D., Acid Reflux, Tumor Behind the Eye, Carpal Tunnel, Fibromyolgia, Clasterphobic, Arthritis
Medications:  Tri Nessa, Percocet, Metformin, Prilosec, Protonix, Zantac, Advair, Cingulair, Albuterol, Calcium + Vitamin D, Pro-Air, Pepcid, Rolaids, Zofran, Compuzeen, Refresh Plus Eye Drops  PRN: Epi-Pen, Albuterol Nebulizer, Benedryl
Undergoing Radiation Taking Lorazepam (Ativan) on Radiation Days


kookla34
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 2/17/2010 12:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Yeppers.. same deal... Cellcept was like 1200 a month for me. Lost my job and had to go on immuran. And I have tolerated it well. No probs for me.
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