Medication for Crohn's Disease after ileostomy?

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 6/20/2006 8:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi!  I have to enlist your help again - My doctor put me on Azathioprine (Imuran, an immuno suppressant drug) after my surgery (ileostomy) in Feb.  I am a Crohnie and had been operated under very grave situations.  Can anyone tell me if it is necesary to be on medications after ileostomy?  What about the drug's negative (like infection, cancer causing) effects?    Other than learning to live my new "Life Style", I was doing well after the operation. 
Will greatly appreciate your input.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 6/21/2006 5:09 AM (GMT -7)   

Yes, even following surgery you will need to stay on medication to treat Crohn's.  Crohn's disease affects the GI tract from the mouth to the anus, even though you are now without your colon and rectum, you can still get the disease in your small intestine.  I imagine you will still need regular visits with your GI and will always need to take maintenance medication.


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

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 6/22/2006 8:10 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello Tintin,

It is sad but true.  You have to stay on medication in order to prevent the Crohn's from recurring.  I was on Imuran for several months in order to treat Ulcerative Colitis and unfortunately it did not work for me.  I ended up having a total colectomy in March in order to get rid of the Colitis for good.....or so I thought.  It turns out that because my rectum was left intact in order for me to have a reversal in 6-12 months, I still have a bit of Colitis.  Believe me, it is not as severe as it was before and with medication I feel completely normal (aside from the ileostomy of course!).  I wouldn't worry too much about the Imuran.  As long as your doctors are monitoring your liver count etc...on a regular basis you should be fine!  Staying healthy and taking the medication is probably the best thing to do because even though you feel fine now, without the medication in your system, if you were to experience a flare-up it may be much harder to get under control.  And if you continue to feel great maybe you won't flare up at all!  I wish you the best of luck.

Earthgirl :-)

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 6/23/2006 9:58 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi!  Earthgirl and Suebear,

Thanks so much for both your input.  For a while, I was worrying that people had stopped visiting the site.  Your advice and encouragement are real lifesavers for new ostomies like myself.  I am learning to live my life all over and you have helped me greatly in the "how-to" dept.  All the frustrations and sadness that come with the disease become a little easier to handle, knowing that there are people who have been there and they are willing to help.  It is not fun to take medication/going through the pain/not knowing what will happen next but thanks for making the journey a little less lonely and scary.

I will continue with the medication and try my best to stay healthy.

You guys stay healthy and happy too!



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