Questions for Imuran users....

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Numb78
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 1/7/2008 10:28 AM (GMT -7)   
After an unsuccessful run of Pred my doc has now prescribed a dose of 100mg Imuran. I'm wondering for those who are on this drug if there are any side effects and if so how bad are they?

Fortunately for me I never had any bad side effects with pred but the only issue was that for this flare it hasn't done anything.

Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23549
   Posted 1/7/2008 11:23 AM (GMT -7)   
Define what you mean about a dose. Usually when you start on either 6mp or Imuran, it is a lifelong med as long as you can tolerate it. Have you had any initial bloodwork to determine your baseline? Imuran and 6mp take a while to become affective. In some it can take 6 months or longer because it has to build up in your body. But typically with these meds, the side effects are fatigue, headaches, and nausea until your body becomes accustomed to it. By taking it night (if you are taking the whole 100mgs at once) this can help reduce the side effects. Are you on any other meds at this time? Can you tolerate Asacol or Colazal?

Just a suggestion, you might want to put something in your signature to let us know what you are on or what you have tried so we don't have to keep asking. To do this, go to the control panel in the upper blue bar on the left hand side, edit profile - but if you decide to do this remember to keep it to 10 lines or less.
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Beth75
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 1/7/2008 11:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been on the generic of Imuran (azathioprine) for about 2 months now. My only side effect from it that I can tell is fatigue and a general fogginess (though some of that may be from the Diovan I am taking). I take it at night and it did help with the fatigue somewhat, though I am still pretty tired all the time.

I was worried about the nausea and stuff and have not had an issue with it.
Beth, 32
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07 ~ working on remission almost there
UC Diagnosed March 2000 (30 cenitmeters)
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) Diagnosed Sept 2007
Prednisone 60/40mg alt days 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Potassium 600mg 2xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.


tjf
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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3238
   Posted 1/7/2008 12:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been on Imuran 1 1/2 years. I had some nausea when I initally started taking it. At that time I was taking it in the morning so I switched to the evenings and that helped. I do have some fatique. I don't know if that is Imuran related or just UC in general.

It did take a few months to kick in for me. But it did help me get off the pred.
Tabitha (Tab)

100mg Azathioprine, 2 Fibercon, Colazal-9 a day, Acidopholis Pearls, Nexium

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Numb78
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 1/7/2008 12:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Guess I should have clarified the pred dose... I have been up and down from 40mg down to 15mg with no effect. Went back to 40mg again just before Xmas after a colonoscopy but again I feel no difference in symptoms. An endoscopy found a H pylori infection though and I am having massive nasty side effects of the Flagyl (I have another post about this problem).
Currently in a flare since summer 07.
Current Meds: 35mg Pred, 2000mg salofalk, calcium supplements
Just about to start 100mg Imuran.


Beth75
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 1/7/2008 12:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Numb, I think I am steriod resistant except for they hydrocortisone enema's they really helped me. What about looking into those, maybe those can help you?

I started pred on 9/7 after stopping asacol and went into a huge flare end of sept through Oct, I actually got worse after starting pred (mostly b/c the asacol helped but I had to stop taking it b/c of my kidneys).

I see my doc this thurs and if I don't fall within a certain range, then pred will be considered a failure for me........glad to have been on it for 4 months for nothing! Sorry just some roid rage, I got all the nasty side effects.
Beth, 32
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07 ~ working on remission almost there
UC Diagnosed March 2000 (30 cenitmeters)
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) Diagnosed Sept 2007
Prednisone 60/40mg alt days 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Potassium 600mg 2xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.


UCinNC
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 528
   Posted 1/7/2008 6:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Numb. i have been on imuran (azathioprine) just about 6 months now, and I was steroid dependent, so my problem was slightly different. pred totally kept me well, in fact my body adored pred so much I flare whenever I get off it. hence the switch to imuran. at 6 months, I am still seeing how it goes, but what I can tell you so far is that I have been able to stay off the pred since getting on it. I was TERRIFIED of it but have had no problems on it. when I first started, I had about 3 days of awful headaches, but I never get those anymore, and hair loss isn't a big deal either, don't really have any. BUt, I might caution you against starting at 100mg. maybe start at 50mg and build up? I started at 50mg and increased by 50mg every couple of weeks, as ordered by my doctor, and even those bumps were a bit tricky, so 100mg all at once might be a bit much. just worth checking with your GI. But, in general no side effects, so don't worry.
29/Female/NC
Pancolitis dx 3/07
12 Asacol/day
150mg Imuran/day (steroid dependent, reached this dose 9/07)
Various vitamins, a probiotic.


Antz
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 1/8/2008 3:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Numb. I have to agree with UCinNC about the dose. I was very much like you, struggling to get below 15mg of Pred without everything flareing up. So after over a year of messing with Pred the Dr suggested Imuran. I was really nervous at first as it is something to take for life, or until something better comes along. However I started at 50mg and had to have blood tests every week to make sure my body was accepting the drug. Then i raised it to 100mg and currently settled on 125mg. I did struggle a little at first with some bad stomach pains, but this was attributed more to being on pred for so long with out taking any thing to calm the stomach.

I think I have been on the imuran for just over a year. And have to say that, fingers crossed, have been in total remission for the last 8-9 months (and i went through buying my first house and moving at the very start!!) every now and then things can get a bit random, but that could be food or drink that causes it.

I am pretty sure that it was the right thing to take, and although i did have a few difficult days at the beginning, it was so worth it.

I notice you are on saloflak, i was given this as my first drug to take, but was told that it was only effective for certain areas and so was changed to Asacol. It might be worth checking that it is correct for the infected area that you have.

Hope this hellps a lttle.

Ant
Dx : Sept 2005 UC entire colon
Meds:Finally off the pred = 125mg imuran a day Azacol 800mg 3xDaily
Supp's: 1 sachet of VSL 3


UCinGV
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 389
   Posted 1/8/2008 6:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Azathioprine has been a godsend for me, it's finally got me off of Prednisone and flare-free for months now. The only side effects I've experienced are nausea if you take it on an empty stomach (this is especially bad when you are first starting.) I actually thew up at work a few times. So I would recommend only taking your Imuran after finishing a meal.

It also interacts badly with alcohol, so be careful.
12 Asacol
100 mg Imuran
6 or 9 fish oil pills
4 Acidophilus pills


MicheleV
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2004
Total Posts : 233
   Posted 1/9/2008 1:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been on Imuran for a few years now and went into complete remission after several months.  This came after YEARS of being sick and getting as close to surgery as I had ever been. Im on 150 mg at this point, and havent had a days problem with this drug. EVER.  I do take it at night because its easier for me to remember meds as I brush my teeth, but I have never gotten naseous.  I too was terrified as other have said, but all for naught.  Im more terrified that some day I might have to go off and get sick again....but for now...Imuran is my best friend. :-)
 
Michele
Currently in remission since September 2004!!!  I am on Imuran 150 mg and am LOVING life!


WhiteSox1
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 135
   Posted 1/9/2008 2:47 PM (GMT -7)   
UCinGV said...
Azathioprine has been a godsend for me, it's finally got me off of Prednisone and flare-free for months now. The only side effects I've experienced are nausea if you take it on an empty stomach (this is especially bad when you are first starting.) I actually thew up at work a few times. So I would recommend only taking your Imuran after finishing a meal.

It also interacts badly with alcohol, so be careful.

Just curious,  how does alcohol affect you while you are taking Imuran?

Asacol 4 pills 3x's daily
Imuran 125mg.
Prednisone 15mg.
Multi-Vitamins
Calcium with Vit. D Tablets


mystic77
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/10/2008 11:38 PM (GMT -7)   
MicheleV

I'm also curious why you say it interacts with alcohol badly. Was it a personal experience? Were you on other meds? I just started Imuran 2 days ago and i've done tons of research, and everything I have
read says that alcohol and Imuran have no interactions. For example http://www.gihealth.com/html/education/drugs/imuran.html quotes,

"Taking Imuran properly

1. Imuran is best taken with food. Imuran can irritate the stomach lining and therefore should be taken with food which serves as a buffer and reduces the irritation. The tablets may be crushed if necessary. There are no food or beverage restrictions. Imuran can be taken with milk. It does not interact with alcohol or tobacco. "

I'm just wondering if it was a personal experience or if a DR told you this?

TheLori
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 277
   Posted 1/11/2008 4:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Can you take antibiotics while on imuran? I have a terrible sinus infection!
Lori
38/F
UC diagnosed 1991
Asacal, zoloft, levoxyl, prednisone 40m, Azathioprine (started 1/9/08)


UCinNC
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 528
   Posted 1/11/2008 12:18 PM (GMT -7)   
whitesox1 - I go kind-of easy on alcohol now. I feel like I feel alcohol much more easie than I used to. I get tipsy much more quickly now. have you had that experience? I never even thought it might be the imuran until you asked....
29/Female/NC
Pancolitis dx 3/07
12 Asacol/day
150mg Imuran/day (steroid dependent, reached this dose 9/07)
Various vitamins, a probiotic.


WhiteSox1
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 135
   Posted 1/11/2008 2:00 PM (GMT -7)   
UCinNC said...
whitesox1 - I go kind-of easy on alcohol now. I feel like I feel alcohol much more easie than I used to. I get tipsy much more quickly now. have you had that experience? I never even thought it might be the imuran until you asked....

I quit drinking once I was diagnosed last September but I did have a Scotch about a week ago and had extreme back pain later that night due to stomach cramping and thought that maybe it was from the alcohol. 
 
I am wondering, though, if it was my medication or my UC or both that caused my stomach to cramp like that and cause all that pain.  My guess is that it was my UC but not sure. 
 
Asacol 4 pills 3x's daily
Imuran 125mg.
Prednisone 15mg.
Multi-Vitamins
Calcium with Vit. D Tablets


Beth75
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 1/11/2008 2:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I do drink a little less, but I think that is b/c I am tired earlier and want to go home.  hmmm
 
well I am going out for a couple cocktails tonite (I like caramel martini's)  and have the Pat's game tomorrow, will definintely have a few beers!
 
Go Patriots!
Beth, 32
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07 ~ working on remission almost there
UC Diagnosed March 2000 (30 cenitmeters)
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) Diagnosed Sept 2007
Prednisone 60/40mg alt days 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Potassium 600mg 2xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.


Rhubarb
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 1/11/2008 3:41 PM (GMT -7)   
My hubby was on imuran for quite awhile. When he first started it, he was on two pills a day (not sure of exact dosage in mg - maybe 100?), and he found that it made him nauseous. He was working a night shift, and would take his meds before starting work, and would end up vomiting half the time and then being late for work while his stomach settled. He started splitting the dose - one pill in the morning, one at night, and the nausea stopped. Only other side affect was a lowered libido.
Husband diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2003(?)
Hospitalized 4 times
Asacol, Imuran, probiotics, fish oil, Vit D, Librax, Zoloft, Metamucil
Started Digestive Advantage Colitis formula 7/16 - hoping for some relief!
(Still working on listing all his meds and doses of each!)


jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 1/11/2008 3:52 PM (GMT -7)   
The only side effect I had from Imuran was a chronic yeast infection.

I drink rarely, and then usually only a glass of sangria. I just figure my liver is challenged enough by the meds, without adding alcohol.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Intolerant to Asacol and rectal mesalamine preparations.
On Prednisone then Entocort 2001-2006 with only short periods off. 
Current meds are Colazal, Azathioprine Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
In remission since April, 2006. Remicade has been my wonder drug.
 


Another UC wife
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2111
   Posted 1/11/2008 5:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hubby started a low dose of 75 mg imuran along with 40 mg of prednisone while in the hospital in May.

In the fall the imuran was increased to 150 mg as he was tolerating it fine as the specialist thought 75mg way too low. The higher dose seems to have made a big improvement. Had the Promethius testing done and now monthly blood tests are done to monitor as well. The prednisone is finally at zero mg. Aside from the fatigue which is a common UC complaint anyway he hasn't had any side effects from that medication.

He is very tired though. Definitely not in a real remission per se. Much more functional, BM's and the urgency are under control. He still makes a number of trips to the bathroom each day but as I have said in so many posts he is in far better shape than he was. Could be a lot better like yesterday and today basically in bed so tired and didn't sleep at all last night. But he was tired before imuran too.

Let's see what tomorrow brings. That's the up and down nature of this I guess.

Even with all the meds he still has pain and discomfort in the rectal area. He is trying to cut back on the pain meds but that could be what is possibly wreaking havoc with him these past two days. We leave for a cruise on the 20th and I have asked him to stick with the meds that have been basically working for him and when we get back and see the Dr on 2/4th he can get tapering advice from the Dr rather than trying to do it by himself. We both would like to see him off the pain meds but for now that seems to make the difference in having better days.

I am getting kind of worn out by all of this and hope he will be able to enjoy a remission sometime soon. I don't want to complain but the roller coaster effect of this just seems to be wearing me down. I took a really bad fall a week ago and thankfully I didn't break anything................been very sore and stiff for the week and a little under the weather and nobody to wait on me....lol. Can you say "pity party" over here. lol

Good luck with the imuran - I hope it helps like it has helped so many.

61 yr old male~Colitis 1st diagnosed Jan '05-cleared up within a few wks. Flared again in May '06 (now UC) & hospitalized 5/07-currently heading towards a remission. Osteopena of spine from prednisone DX 8/07  Oct 07 feeling quite normal most days.  150mg Imuran  Zero mg prednisone   12 Asacol, Lidocaine Hydrochloride Jelly 2%,multi vitamin, iron 1X day, DanActive, chewable calcium, fiber capsule 1x day, Prilosec 20mg, enalapril 10mg, glipizide 5 mg, zocor 40 mg, baby aspirin, (Fentanyl pain patch 50mg 72 hrs  Morphine Sulf 15 mg twice daily)Cortifoam enema PM, Canasa suppositiry AM, folic acid 1mg, Fosamax 1x month

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