I can't take Imuran/Azathioprine, but the Remicade has been helping, although I had to increase frequency because it never lasts the entire two months. I am lucky that my infusion clinic is open 7 days a week, I tend to go early-ish on a weekend and get it over with. I actually enjoy the quite "me" time in the chair with the nurses fussing over me, getting me cranberry juice, blankets, pillows, magazines ... I bring my Zune and watch video podcasts or listen to tunes or the radio. Love my Zune.
Personally, I think the side effects of Azathioprine are scarier, and I have read on this board that it's kind of dangerous to take both Remi and Azathioprine at the same time.
I haven't had any side-effects from the Remi, but yes, it's list of side-effects ARE cary and it took me quite a long time to decide to try it, about five or six months actually. But the side-effects of the Prednisone are terrible too and I have been on it going on two years now, so if the Remi can help me get off it, well, lesser of two evils? I am starting yet another taper tomorrow, dropping from 40 mg Pred to 30 mg for a week ... just had an infusion, so fingers crossed the taper goes okay this time.
My GI's plan is to first get me off the Prednisone, then once I am in remission with Remicade and Lialda for a good long time, we'll start to get me off the Remicade. He doesn't believe in putting his patients on it for life, and with Humira in the pipeline he says we still have something else in our arsenal should I need Remicade again in the future and develop antibodies. Humira CAN be prescribed off-label for UC now, although depending on your insurance you may need to jump through some hoops. It should be okayed soon for UC if it follows as the rest of the medications seem to go ... RA, Crohns, UC.
Diagnosed UC April 27, 2006
Remicade infusions: 7/21/07; 8/18/07; 10/13/07; 12/15/97; 1/26/08
Lialda, 4 tabs in the morning; Protonix; Prednisone 4/27/06-present, was almost off, back to 40 mg; 12/1/07 - 12/29/07 weekly Venofer (iron sucrose) injections;
9 mg Entocourt EC; Xanax as needed; Lexipro 10 mg, Rowesa; Asacol; Colazal three 750 mg capsules 3X day; Bad reactions: Imuran (2/07)