6 MP and blood tests - need feedback

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 109
   Posted 8/4/2008 7:42 AM (GMT -7)   
I have taking 6MP for about 5 years and had considerable improvement with my CD. My previous doctor (I moved) stressed how important it was for me to have regular blood tests because 6MP can be very hard on the liver. He started me getting checked every week, then two weeks, then three and then eventually every two months. I moved to Texas last summer and shortly thereafter ended up in the hospital with an obstruction. My liver enzymes were elevated in the hospital and they suggested that I have it tested when I saw my new doc. When I went to see my new doc, he didn't write me any scripts and I had to rely on what I had left of my 6MP. It was like pulling teeth to have him write an order for a blood test. I finally ran out of 6MP and scheduled an appt. with new doc. He wrote a script for 6MP and Asacol. I told him about my concern about going 6 months without a blood test. He wrote a standing order for the blood test and I went to the lab. I called the doc's office the next week and was told everything was fine. Now, I went to the lab on Friday and they had not kept my standing order on file and called the doc's office. They said he had only ordered a hemogram. I called the nurse today and she said that he said that only a hemogram is necessary and that was what was drawn in April too. So now I realize that my liver levels have not been checked since Oct. and that this doctor does not plan to check them. So, now I am confused. The old doctor thought it was extremely important to have my liver levels checked and the new doctor doesn't think they need checked at all. I need feedback from others about 6MP and whether your doc has your liver levels checked.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 8/4/2008 7:53 AM (GMT -7)   
I think the bigger concern on 6mp is white count. I started with blood tests every few months, but after a couple of years we moved those to twice a year and then annual. Apparently anything that's going to happen with blood levels with 6mp will show up fairly early in the course of treatment. I nkiow my GI checks my basic blood chemistries -- including livefr enzymes -- whenever he draws blood. If you are concerned abuot liver enzymes, just ask yuor doc or his office staff to order the test. If it's an issue with them, I'd try another GI practice.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1340
   Posted 8/4/2008 9:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I was on 6mp for years and even at the end my GI never let me go more than 3mos w/o blood work. In the end the numbers were always the same, but I (and he) liked the reassurance of having it checked and knowing things were okay.

Personally, I would prefer a doc who is more proactive on these things. Does the new doc have much experience with CD and 6mp?
Currently in remission!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 8/4/2008 10:41 AM (GMT -7)   
I had my blood tested weekly for the first two months I was on 6MP and when those were okay it was changed to every 6-8 weeks. During my second year of 6MP I developed acute jaundice. My last blood test was fine (it had prob been done 3-5wks previously) and when I called my Dr with my complaints she sent me directly to the lab for a bloodtest and she called me that afternoon (after they faxed her) and had me stop all meds because of the results.
I feel it is important for 6MP to be monitored with bloodtests to be sure the liver is functioning properly.
I had no lasting damage to my liver because we caught it in time.

During my bloodtests, the wbc was always a bit elevated and attributed to the prednisone. I wonder now if it was the diseased portion of my colon that was constantly fighting a battle that was raising the wbc. Since having that diseased portion removed, 6MP now makes me horribly nauseous.

I have the ability of single-minded determination and accurate project focu....Hey, look, a cat!
Crohn's and UC are pretty darn crappy, but if you can't laugh at yourself, you'll cry. 
I'd much rather laugh.
2001 Dx'd with UC.  No remission.  5/2008 surgery, removal of 6" of left side colon.  Dx changed to Crohn's.  Remission for 8-9wks after surgery, symptoms returning after resuming 6MP.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 734
   Posted 8/4/2008 12:44 PM (GMT -7)   

I have been on 6MP for about 6 years now with no problems and it works well for me.

I have my bloodwork done every 3 months and then my liver enzymes done yearly.  My Rx is set up for refills for 3 times and then my doc will not refill my Rx if my bloodwork isn't done.

If you have had elevated liver enzymes I would think that needs to be watched and I would insits and find a new doc if needed.  Maybe your old doc could call the new doc?????


"We can't beat this disease, YET, but we can't let it beat us!"

"Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 219
   Posted 8/4/2008 6:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes your liver enzymes need to be monitored because if there is an elevation then could see what was wrong. Side effect of 6mp could be pancreatitis...so that is why they check liver enzymes. Wbc is checked to make sure you don't get your wbc too low causing bone marrow failure...both need to be monitored.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 884
   Posted 8/5/2008 10:04 AM (GMT -7)   
When I first started 6mp, he was checking my liver enzymes once a month.  When I started the clinical trial for Cimzia about a year and a half ago, they checked them every 2 weeks, so my GI stopped.  Now that the trial is over, no one has checked them since April.  I think they would be more concerned if mine were still high, but they had come back down to normal in April.  I would tell your doctor that you'd like for him to check them every so many months and if he isn't willing to do that, tell him you will find another doctor who is. 
Crohn's Disease, Acid Reflux/Gastritis, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Endometriosis, Arthritis, Depression/Anxiety.  Too many meds to list them all.  =) 

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 8/5/2008 11:54 AM (GMT -7)   
PLEASE push the issue to get your liver checked via blood tests. DO NOT let this one pass. I was on 6MP for about six months and had to get my blood drawn every Monday (yes, it became very painful and annoying) because my liver enzymes were elevated. It turned out that I had to come off of 6MP b/c my body makes some chemical that is in the 6MP (I guess only 2% of the population has this). It took an additional few months for my liver to return to normal, even after coming off of the 6MP. They almost had to biopsy my liver to see what was going on.

Nobody is going to take care of you better than you. Force the issue with your doc. It's your right and only makes sense. My Gastro doc was big on getting my liver checked from the beginning, and when we saw that my enzymes elevated it became a weekly withdrawal. You def don't want to damage your liver. Please call your doc and push the issue!

Take care and let us know how it goes!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 330
   Posted 8/5/2008 3:22 PM (GMT -7)   
It doesn't take long when something goes wrong. I was so sick suddenly, and it turned out my white blood cells and platelets were wiped out (immuno-depressed) and I was diagnosed with medication induced hepatitis - all within a few weeks of starting 6-MP and a few days of feeling dreadfully ill. The emergency room doctor misdiagnosed me, and it was only 3 days later that they discovered how sick I was. By then a stay in the hospital was necessary Don't ignore any severe flu-like symptoms. I was getting regular blood-work, but it came on like wildfire.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 2346
   Posted 8/5/2008 4:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, you MUST get regular labs. I had cbc and liver done every 3 months. My gi would only give me a script for 3 months, and had to see my lab results before they would order a refill.
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