Do I have to taper off Asacol or can I just stop taking it?

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Kiss520
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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 742
   Posted 11/16/2008 1:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I'd like to stop taking my Asacol - I know it has no effect on me.  Do I need to taper off of it or can I just stop taking it?  I don't know if I'll get any side effects from stopping cold turkey.
Katie, 30.   Chicago 'burbs.
DX:  Pancolitis as of 9/08 (Proctitis as of 1/08)
Current Treament:  Asacol 1200 MG 2X daily, Iron 325 MG 2X daily, Zoloft 50 MG daily, Multivitamin.
Diet:  Spinach/sunflower and low-residue.
Previous Treatment:  Canasa suppositories, Cortifoam, Prednisone, Colazal, Symex DuoTabs, Rowasa, Bentyl, Cortenema.
Status:  Heading to remission???
 
 
 
 


Judy2
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 9486
   Posted 11/16/2008 1:47 PM (GMT -6)   
While I don't recommend discontinuing the Asacol at all, if you're determined to do so, you might consider dropping it by one pill a month. That way if you do find it was doing something for you, you may not get as sick before you decide to re-start meds.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


suebear
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5419
   Posted 11/16/2008 1:54 PM (GMT -6)   

I am curious to know why you think the Asacol is not working?

Sue


dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free


Kiss520
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 742
   Posted 11/16/2008 2:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I was taking the Asacol for a while before I started the spinach/sunflower diet. I know the meds weren't helping before the diet. Now that the diet has me feeling better (basically in remission), I want off the Asacol.
Katie, 30.   Chicago 'burbs.
DX:  Pancolitis as of 9/08 (Proctitis as of 1/08)
Current Treament:  Asacol 1200 MG 2X daily, Iron 325 MG 2X daily, Zoloft 50 MG daily, Multivitamin.
Diet:  Spinach/sunflower and low-residue.
Previous Treatment:  Canasa suppositories, Cortifoam, Prednisone, Colazal, Symex DuoTabs, Rowasa, Bentyl, Cortenema.
Status:  Heading to remission???
 
 
 
 


Eva Lou
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3134
   Posted 11/16/2008 2:02 PM (GMT -6)   
You can stop it cold turkey. I'm actually curious to hear how it goes, what (if anything) happens. You probably already know my "no more meds!" saga- quit 'em all, went into terrible flare for years, barely controlled now w/heavy-duty meds... That pretty much sums up everyone's experience with quitting meds, on this forum at least. But hey, if you feel like seeds & leafy greens are the cure, more power to you. The forum will always be here, & I for one am anxiosuly awaiting your miraculous results!
diagnosed with UC '02
meds-
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- since 4/07
Imuran- 150mgs/day
Culturelle
Fiber supplement
 
 
 


Kiss520
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 742
   Posted 11/16/2008 8:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, I hope I have some miraculous results to report. To be honest, the miracle has already happened. I really do think the spinach and sunflower butter was what did it for me. Obviously, I'm pretty scared of getting off the meds, but I have to try it sometime. It would be a waste of money and a risk of side effects to continue taking them if I really don't need them (I just hope that's the case). I'll be sure to post my results...
Katie, 30.   Chicago 'burbs.
DX:  Pancolitis as of 9/08 (Proctitis as of 1/08)
Current Treament:  Asacol 1200 MG 2X daily, Iron 325 MG 2X daily, Zoloft 50 MG daily, Multivitamin.
Diet:  Spinach/sunflower and low-residue.
Previous Treatment:  Canasa suppositories, Cortifoam, Prednisone, Colazal, Symex DuoTabs, Rowasa, Bentyl, Cortenema.
Status:  Heading to remission???
 
 
 
 


Cfromutah
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 370
   Posted 11/16/2008 9:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I was on asacol in the past and quit it cold turkey without any problems. I also did the same with colazal. I actually felt way better off the meds than I did on them once I was being helped by the diet.

jenjim
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 11/16/2008 11:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I never felt like Asacol helped me either. I quit it cold turkey.
Jen

teddybearweiser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 3042
   Posted 11/17/2008 6:36 AM (GMT -6)   
First i would talk to you doctor before stopping any meds.
Hi, I am teddybearweiser, I am a male.
I was diagnosed with crohns disease when i was admitted to the hospital

in 1992, in Jan of 1993 I was back in the hospital for surgery for my crohns. I had part of my right colon resectioned with ilecolonstomy.

My GI doctor has me on Asacol, Dicyclomine,Imuran,Celebrex and Remicade. B-12 injection once a month.
Also diagnosed with Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis


Kiss520
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 742
   Posted 11/17/2008 9:30 AM (GMT -6)   
I did talk to my doctor about it, and he said to taper off over the next few months (ending in FEBRUARY!).  If I felt like it was helping at all, I would follow his advice.  So far I've never taken any medicine that's done anything for me. 

Katie, 30.   Chicago 'burbs.
DX:  Pancolitis as of 9/08 (Proctitis as of 1/08)
Current Treament:  Asacol 1200 MG 2X daily, Iron 325 MG 2X daily, Zoloft 50 MG daily, Multivitamin.
Diet:  Spinach/sunflower and low-residue.
Previous Treatment:  Canasa suppositories, Cortifoam, Prednisone, Colazal, Symex DuoTabs, Rowasa, Bentyl, Cortenema.
Status:  Heading to remission???
 
 
 
 


suebear
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5419
   Posted 11/17/2008 10:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Just be aware. You might not think that the maintenance medication is doing anything but I can tell you if it wasn't helping you would be in the hospital. Sometimes it can take months or even years to gain full remission. It's not unusual to have difficult flares.

Sue
dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free


Kiss520
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 742
   Posted 11/17/2008 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Based on your responses, I think I'll try to taper off of it... but maybe just a bit faster than my doctor suggested.  I've already knocked it down a little bit and haven't had problems.  Thanks for all the advice!  I don't know what I'd do without all the experience everyone has on this forum. 

Katie, 30.   Chicago 'burbs.
DX:  Pancolitis as of 9/08 (Proctitis as of 1/08)
Current Treament:  Asacol 1200 MG 2X daily, Iron 325 MG 2X daily, Zoloft 50 MG daily, Multivitamin.
Diet:  Spinach/sunflower and low-residue.
Previous Treatment:  Canasa suppositories, Cortifoam, Prednisone, Colazal, Symex DuoTabs, Rowasa, Bentyl, Cortenema.
Status:  Heading to remission???
 
 
 
 


SocalJohn
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 160
   Posted 11/17/2008 2:25 PM (GMT -6)   
You can just quit taking it. Your body isnt chemically dependent on it.

Kiss520
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 742
   Posted 11/17/2008 3:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm not so much worried about the chemical dependency as I am about the severity of symptoms if I just stop. From what others have said, I might notice some symptoms returning as a taper and be able to up my medicine again to stop them. If I just stop cold turkey, the symptoms might return full force. Again, this is all assuming that the Asacol is doing something, and I don't think it is. I just don't want to take any big chances.
Katie, 30.   Chicago 'burbs.
DX:  Pancolitis as of 9/08 (Proctitis as of 1/08)
Current Treament:  Asacol 1200 MG 2X daily, Iron 325 MG 2X daily, Zoloft 50 MG daily, Multivitamin.
Diet:  Spinach/sunflower and low-residue.
Previous Treatment:  Canasa suppositories, Cortifoam, Prednisone, Colazal, Symex DuoTabs, Rowasa, Bentyl, Cortenema.
Status:  Heading to remission???
 
 
 
 


quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 25775
   Posted 11/17/2008 5:16 PM (GMT -6)   
geez SocalJohn......there's no chemical dependency from Asacol..and that's NOT why we suggest tapering.

Read the responses...it's all about the inflammation and keeping it to a level that won't encourage a full-blown flare.

Maintenance. one will still flare, but mild doesn't mean the med isn't a success.

One can only try.....we all learn. Not all can or are willing to be on meds, and surgery is always an option.

q
*Heather* Status..Asacol 6 (3 twice daily); enemas every 4th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~vitamins/minerals/supplements 
~Probiotics....(Natural Factors Protec 2 or 3  +   1 or 2 Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls @ bedtime
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!
 


mh53mike
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 11/17/2008 6:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Kiss520 said...
I'd like to stop taking my Asacol - I know it has no effect on me.  Do I need to taper off of it or can I just stop taking it?  I don't know if I'll get any side effects from stopping cold turkey.

  To answer the simple post with a simple answer and not digging any further into it, the answer is as SocalJohn said, you can quit it cold turkey.
 
Read the post.
 
I also find it odd how the original poster was confident it had no effect on him and by the end of the post they are afraid of symptoms coming back while quiting the drug.


27y old male. Diagnosed with UC (lower proctitis) in 2004.
 
Current daily treatment:                             Probiotics & supplements:
2400mg oral asacol                                       Digestive enzymes
75mg azathioprine                                        folic acid & calcuim with V-D
20mg Prilosec                                              VSL#3 probiotic 
Diet:Little/no sugars, fats, carbs, caffine,yeast,breads,alcohol. Stay natural as possible. A not so strict form of the SCD.  
Results:1 Bowel movement in the morning no blood! Remission since 08Sept08
 
 


Kiss520
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 742
   Posted 11/18/2008 12:33 AM (GMT 0)   
mh53mike said...
Kiss520 said...
I'd like to stop taking my Asacol - I know it has no effect on me.  Do I need to taper off of it or can I just stop taking it?  I don't know if I'll get any side effects from stopping cold turkey.

  To answer the simple post with a simple answer and not digging any further into it, the answer is as SocalJohn said, you can quit it cold turkey.
 
Read the post.
 
I also find it odd how the original poster was confident it had no effect on him and by the end of the post they are afraid of symptoms coming back while quiting the drug.

I am confident, but I've also been through absolute hell.  If there is any chance that I'm wrong, I don't want to find out the hard way. 


Katie, 30.   Chicago 'burbs.
DX:  Pancolitis as of 9/08 (Proctitis as of 1/08)
Current Treament:  Asacol 1200 MG 2X daily, Iron 325 MG 2X daily, Zoloft 50 MG daily, Multivitamin.
Diet:  Spinach/sunflower and low-residue.
Previous Treatment:  Canasa suppositories, Cortifoam, Prednisone, Colazal, Symex DuoTabs, Rowasa, Bentyl, Cortenema.
Status:  Heading to remission???
 
 
 
 


Eva Lou
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3134
   Posted 11/17/2008 6:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Yup, me too- if you're positive the Asacol is doing absolutely nothing for your UC, why stay on it? I was positive about that once myself & quit cold turkey. Very bad idea, very, very, VERY bad idea. Also, when one stops a maintenance med such as Asacol, being able to re-achieve remission using just Asacol again is extrememly difficult- I think everyone on here who stopped their meds because they were POSITIVE they were doing nothing is now on seriously heavy-duty drugs, with no end in sight. It's pretty unlikely that you'd be able to go back up to 6-8 pills a day & go right back into remission. It's a delicate balance, don't screw it up. just my 2 cents.



diagnosed with UC '02
meds-
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- since 4/07
Imuran- 150mgs/day
Culturelle
Fiber supplement
 
 
 

Post Edited (Eva Lou) : 11/17/2008 4:38:17 PM (GMT-7)


Kiss520
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 742
   Posted 11/17/2008 6:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Eva - I think I replied right before you did. See the post before yours to see my answer to his comment (and yours).
Katie, 30.   Chicago 'burbs.
DX:  Pancolitis as of 9/08 (Proctitis as of 1/08)
Current Treament:  Asacol 1200 MG 2X daily, Iron 325 MG 2X daily, Zoloft 50 MG daily, Multivitamin.
Diet:  Spinach/sunflower and low-residue.
Previous Treatment:  Canasa suppositories, Cortifoam, Prednisone, Colazal, Symex DuoTabs, Rowasa, Bentyl, Cortenema.
Status:  Heading to remission???
 
 
 
 


Eva Lou
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 3134
   Posted 11/17/2008 6:38 PM (GMT -6)   
gotcha- me too! we're dualing typists! :-)
diagnosed with UC '02
meds-
Asacol- 8 tabs/day
Remicade-10mgs/kg- since 4/07
Imuran- 150mgs/day
Culturelle
Fiber supplement
 
 
 


Kiss520
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 742
   Posted 11/17/2008 6:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Eva - I just read your revised comment, and I do intend to taper. I'm just not going to wait quite as long as my doc suggested. After what I've been through, I'm very nervous about doing anything to compromise my progress. That's why I wanted to check with everyone about stopped the meds. I've never been off meds since I was diagnosed, so I have no experience with it. I appreciate your input and I plan to put it to use. Thanks! :-)
Katie, 30.   Chicago 'burbs.
DX:  Pancolitis as of 9/08 (Proctitis as of 1/08)
Current Treament:  Asacol 1200 MG 2X daily, Iron 325 MG 2X daily, Zoloft 50 MG daily, Multivitamin.
Diet:  Spinach/sunflower and low-residue.
Previous Treatment:  Canasa suppositories, Cortifoam, Prednisone, Colazal, Symex DuoTabs, Rowasa, Bentyl, Cortenema.
Status:  Heading to remission???
 
 
 
 


Peety
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2838
   Posted 11/17/2008 7:24 PM (GMT -6)   
As someone who has been on Asacol FOREVER, I'm curious to know what happens. And for your sake I hope it doesn't hurt you to go off it.
I have good insurance (I can't imagine having to pay for it without insurance like some do), I get no apparent side effects and know it works for me so I will keep taking it forever!
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA 6x400 mg maintenance for 20+ years; use prednisone & Rowasa for flares. 
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Food sensitivity test showed gluten, other intolerances; started diet without gluten, soy, dairy, tomato etc. Replete probiotic first, then Forte pills. 
Achieved remission for the first time in many, many years!? Seemed so, but colonoscopy Oct. 6 proved not so, heavy inflammation in ascending colon & will be using Rowasa again. But I AM better.
 
 


Cfromutah
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 370
   Posted 11/17/2008 8:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Kiss, don't worry about symptoms coming back when you quit the med's. I can tell you this first hand because when I first started the diet I was on colazal for about a year prier and continued up until the time when I was feeling better from the diet and then I stopped taking the colazal and had no symptoms from quitting and actually felt a lot better within two days of stopping taken them.It made my mind a lot clearer when I stopped them and had no UC symptoms reappear. I have been completely off meds for 2 and a half years now with absolutley no problems . Don't let people scare you into thinking your going to go into this terrible flare if you stop because its not going to happen. I guarantee you its the diet that's helping you because look at the great track record it already has for the short time its been on this forum and its not going to stop helping you. Its obvious that UC is caused by some sort of deficiency or imbalance in nutrients that this diet provides. Medications are just band aids. This diet gets to the root of the problem.

Post Edited (Cfromutah) : 11/17/2008 6:54:57 PM (GMT-7)


inspectorgadget
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 11/18/2008 9:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm not gonna say C is wrong since when I quit cold turkey I wan not on any specific diet to control the UC. I quit my Asacol in the summer of 07 and was fine for a couple of weeks. When my symptoms came back, by August, I used rectal meds twice (thats what was left from my first diagnosis Rx) and re-started the Asacol. I had symptoms until Feb 08, including my annual week-long snowmobile trip. Try undressing at -40F for an urgent report in the middle of nowhere! By my next visit with the GI in March I was fairly normal and we discussed tapering my meds after an Oct scope. On Oct 15 I had a scope that was completely clear. I had stopped taking the Asacol on the prep day of the scope, no sense watching them go down the toilet at $1.40 each. I felt and looked great, for 2 weeks. When the symptons came back they were all as bad as I have ever experienced, some worse. Had my first ever accident, in my garage, trying to make it to the john. That was depressing. My renewed research effort brought me to this site as well as led me to start taking even more supplements than before. I have been able, more quickly than ever before, by restarting my Asacol and adding supplements, to reduce my symptoms enough to work without fear of having a "problem". I have also been trying the Spin and seeds but a little less than religiously. I know I'll soon be back to relatively normal. I just wish I could figure out which efforts are achieving that. I have been convinced that I could one day eliminate the Asacol and determined to do so since I don't like my side effects but I won't try quitting cold turkey the next time I think I've solved my issue.

WeirdBeard
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 123
   Posted 11/18/2008 10:16 AM (GMT -6)   
I am curious as to what side effects you all are experiencing with Asacol. It doesn't seem to do anything either good or bad for me.
49 - male - in North Carolina near Asheville
Asacol 9/day
Citalopram (anxiety/depression)
experimenting with probiotics/ spinach and sunflower seeds
stopped: Cortenemas and fish oil

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