Imuran: How Long and How Long?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 7/4/2009 3:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been on Imuran for a week now and am wondering how long it's taken for others to see improvements (or side effects) from it? I think a GE at the support group said it takes about 6 weeks but CCFA's site states 3-6 months.

Also, is Imuran a long-term prescription, even perpetual to attempt to retain remission? I currently have a month's prescription with 2 refills.

Lady G
Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 321
   Posted 7/4/2009 4:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Imuran takes up to 3 months to fully kick in proper and have its full effects work in a persons system, so usually when you are put on it you should be given something else to use WITH it for the first 3 months too to keep your system at its 'best'....for me its always been a 3 month prednisone taper when I go on Imuran then at three months off the pred and just Imuran. For me, I've always been told if it works it will be my pill for life, so it can be used for as long as it is working for you. Its worked really really good for me and I only went off it while I was pregnant cause even if they said it was safe, I wasn't risking it, I took the chance. But its worked for me for about 2 years now otherwise.
Also alot of doctors will like you to take monthly bloodworks when on Imuran to keep your blood cell counts at check since this med can lower them a bit

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 174
   Posted 7/4/2009 6:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi GDen,
My daughter has been on Imuran for 4 1/2 years.  She was put on it after a bowel resection.  Since she was in remission at the time due to the surgery, I do not know how long it takes to kick in.  Her GI has her get blood tests every 6-8 weeks and has adjusted her Imuran dose due to blood test results.  My daughter has had no side effects that I am aware of from the Imuran.
Good luck.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 7/5/2009 7:04 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm on 6MP, similar drug. I've been on it for over a decade. I believe it is one of the reasons I have been able to avoid further resections and stay out of the hospital. I don't have any side effects that I can tell, except when they tried to increase my dose and my liver levels went all wonky.

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 7/5/2009 10:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the replies. My GE ordered blood and liver tests for next time I see him. I'm on a long taper off prednisone until the Imuran hopefully kicks in. I guess maybe at this point I don't have the enzyme problem 1 out of 100 have, and haven't had any nausea. I'm still having GI symptoms but my energy seems better than it's been in months. It seemed like most of the people at the support group were on Imuran, and the rest on Remicade.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 7/6/2009 3:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I was on Imuran for 8 years and didn't have any side effects from it. I just recently switched to 6-MP (a very similar drug) and am having a lot of side effects - losing hair, horrible constant taste in my mouth, feeling tired - so am wanting to talk to my doctor about going back on Imuran instead. He switched me because I had gone in to a flare earlier this year and he said he had better luck with ppl on 6MP instead of Imuran, but I'm not liking the new drug so far.
**Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2001; diagnosis changed to Crohn's disease in 2009 (but still only impacts colon)
**Asacol (4800 mg daily), 6-MP (100 mg daily -- recently switched from Imuran), Prednisone (8 mg daily...for a few more weeks), Flagyl (250 mg every other day), Nexium (40 mg daily)
GOAL of one day being immunosuppressant free...still working on my doctor on this one but I am a world traveler who desperately wants to go to Africa one day!

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