Has anyone had to stop Imuran because it caused your white blood cell count to plummet?

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aquafly79
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 317
   Posted 4/21/2009 8:08 PM (GMT -6)   
So I was on Imuran for over a year with no problems, then my white blood cell count began to plummet(between 2 and 3 and it should be at least 4-10 according to my Dr.) and he took me off it. I was off it for a couple months with no change in the cell count and then he wanted to try the Imuran again to see if it might make the cell count increase, which it didn't. I ended up in the office of a hematologist/oncologist getting a blood marrow biopsy to make sure I didn't have lymphoma. Needless to say, I was ridiculously stressed out until the test results showed nothing but that I'm very anemic. The hematologist just said maybe the low white blood cell count and now the very low red blood cell count, which accounts for the anemia is caused by abnormal 'immune reaction' cuz I have an autoimmune disorder. Has anyone had this problem??
aquafly79


Diagnosed with UC in 2004

Currently on Sulfasalazine, taken off Imuran recently due to low white blood cell count, multivitamin, folic acid, calcium, 1200mg fish oil, VSL #3, magnesium

Recently diagnosed with a bunch of food intolerances, which might explain UC: oats, walnuts, butter, lime, tea, coffee, some spices, cane sugar, squash, mozz. cheese, bean sprouts, cola, lettuce, peas


Christine1946
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5453
   Posted 4/22/2009 7:27 AM (GMT -6)   
     My doctor had me on 75 mgm of 6MP.  My white count went down to 2.4.  My red count is normal.  Being a former laboratory technician, I certainly didn't like that low of a white count.  I was not afraid of lymphoma, I was afraid of contracting an illness for which I wouldn't be able to fight off with that low of a white count.  Your white cells contain the antibodies to fight foreign bacteria in your system.  My GI doctor was not concerned at this low of a white count.  He said as long as I was in remission, the 6MP was doing its job.  Well, I lowered my dosage myself, not drastically, but I take 50 mgm one day and 25 the next.  I started doing this back in December and I am still in remission.  I get monthly CBC's.  My white count inched up to 2.9, not great, but better.  I see my GI doctor every three months.  My next scheduled appointment is June 7th.  My next blood test will consist of CBC, liver enzyme levels, and Amylase and Lipase.  I added the Amylase and Lipase myself because they are tests for pancreatic enzyme levels.  When I was hospitalized last year, those tests were extremely high.  My GI doctor took me off the 6MP while I was in the hospital because he thought the 6MP had affected my pancreas.  By the time I was discharged (ten days later) my enzyme levels had returned to normal.  Following my hospitalization, I was unable to get off the prednisone.   As soon as I finished the taper, within two weeks I was in a flare and had to go back to prednisone.  The doctor placed me back on the 6MP at the end of July with careful monitoring.  I was able to achieve remission and have been off prednisone since Nov 1st.  By the way.  I started taking 6MP over five years ago.  My previous dose had been 50 mgm and my white count was always 3.5.
62 yr old granny. South Jersey
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008
Update 11/03/08...finally in remission!!  Hope I don't jinx myself.  Off the prednisone since 11/01/08...now see if I can stay off for longer than two weeks.  Other meds: 6MP (75 mgm), colazal (6 per day), Benicar and Toprol (high blood pressure meds), Probiotic (2 per day), fish oil capsule and multi-vitamin and calcium with vitamin D.


barnsbury
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 442
   Posted 4/24/2009 7:01 AM (GMT -6)   

Yes, I have had to temporarily stop my Imuran because my WBC count dropped too low.

It dropped to around 1.6, which is very low. I was also on Remicade at the time and that definately contributed.  That was a few years ago and it has been okay since.


Abatacept Trial since Feb 2008 (Maintenance Period)
Back on Pred - 4mg - Steroid Dependent :-(
Azathioprine 150mg
Colazide x6
Actonel 35mg, EPA Fish Oils
Predfoam Enema - Had to stop as not allowed during trial
Asacol x 9, Lialda (Mezavant)
Remicade every 8 weeks  (Stopped working)
Aloe Vera Lily of the Desert Juice  Gave me the worst D !
Primadophilus Reuteri Probiotic
 


aquafly79
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 317
   Posted 4/25/2009 8:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the info. So you both went back on the med/s (6MP or Imuran) that caused the white blood cells to decrease? I'm more than a little freaked to ever go on it again after all the fuss that was made about all this. I also want to have another baby soon too, but that is a whole other story. I know my TMPT, or whatever the acronym for the liver enzymes are that are measured when you are on Imuran were always on the low side, so I was never on more than 75mg. Luckily, I never got any kind of infection or anything, which is even more remarkable as I have a 2 year old who I'm sure is bringing in all sorts of fun germs into the house. I remember noticing simple cuts turning into infections and taking forever to heal when I was on Imuran. Christine, I have totally been there with the prednisone...the imuran was what helped me finally get off the pred, at least one of the times I was on it.
aquafly79


Diagnosed with UC in 2004

Currently on Sulfasalazine, taken off Imuran recently due to low white blood cell count, multivitamin, folic acid, calcium, 1200mg fish oil, VSL #3, magnesium

Now on iron supplements due to iron deficiency

Recently diagnosed with a bunch of food intolerances, which might explain UC: oats, walnuts, butter, lime, tea, coffee, some spices, cane sugar, squash, mozz. cheese, bean sprouts, cola, lettuce, peas


Liza D
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 4/25/2009 8:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the same problem with Remicade infusions and 6MPs. They said it was too much and now they said they don't want to put me on either of them for fear that I will have the same reaction only faster. Just be careful. Those drugs are potent and can wipe you out! They are no fun...
UC (Pancolitis... 90%!) December 2001
Arthritis (2003)
Upper GI Ulcer (2006)
Osteopenia (2008)
Depression/Anxiety (2002)

Meds:Bump up every couple years... You name it, I've used it! Sulfasalizine, Asacol, Rowasas, Pentasa,
Remicade, 6mps... And now it looks like the once daily Lialda taken twice a day isn't enough...
Here comes Humera.

Soon to be mom- hopefully! As long as this flare dosen't take me out...

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