Just diagnosed...

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 2/24/2008 9:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I was just diagnosed with UC on friday, and go into see the doc on Tuesday to discuss meds. I'm glad that I know what's going on now, but I'm still nervous and worried. I'm a single mom with 2 kids (1 with high-functioning autism and 1 with ADHD) and am a high school teacher. I've had to take off quite a few days in the last month because sometimes I just CAN'T go to work. eyes I'm mainly worried about losing my source of income and was wondering if anyone had success the first time they were put on meds? (and what were the meds?) From the reading I've done, is steroids the first thing they try?


Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 2/24/2008 11:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Mathgeek, and welcome to Healingwell. I can remember being in the same shoes as you; just dx'd and worried about my job. I managed to work through my worst days (not sure how!) and ended up having to admit I wasn't well when I passed out at work. I finally ended up on Remicade, and I'm in Remi remission right now. I can imagine it's really difficult to teach and deal with this illness. I think the course of meds will probably be determined on how severe and where your colitis is located. It's hard to say what meds they will try first because all of us react so differently. Have you already met with your GI? Make sure you bring a list of questions for him/her and also remember that they are partnering with you to battle this disease. Let us know how the doc appt. goes, and again, welcome to HW! You'll find a very supportive and knowledgeable group of folks here....also very nice! :-)

Remicade - will have my 20th infusion on February 21.
Imuran - 100 mgs....taken before bedtime
Vitamin B-12/Biotin, Probiotics

"Life is short -- make fun of it"
Co-Moderator for the UC Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 2/25/2008 2:47 AM (GMT -6)   
My first round of meds--I was immediately put on Asacol and Prednisone. I don't think I got enemas that early. The pred is what really helped me at first, but I did get all the side effects that come with it. But it was better than seeing a red toilet bowl everyday! Once things are under control, then you can start talking about other meds to keep you in remission long-term. Definitely try to get off the pred within a few months and try to have a plan of action in place. And be patient with the time it takes for your energy to come back. I had a virus too, but it took several months for me to get back to having a normal energy level. Good luck!

23 yrs old
Diagnosed with UC: March 2004 with probable IBS component

Currently taking:
Asacol 4pills 3x/day
Prograf 5mg/day
(Prograf is my miracle drug! It doesn't seem to be well known, but it's fantastic!)

Previously Tried:
Prednisone (works, but such awful side effects!), 6-MP (gave me acute pancreatitis), Entocort, Cipro (antibiotic), Bentyl, Canasa suppositories, a couple different enemas

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 2/25/2008 7:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, welcome to Healingwell :) You found a great forum where everyone can understand - truly understand! So if you should have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to post.

As for the meds, usually the doc will start you off on a 5-ASA such as Asacol, Lialda or Colazal. This med is designed to keep the inflammation down in your colon. Did the doc happen to mention how far into the colon your inflammation was? What are your symptoms at the moment? Now, I am sort of biased when it comes to steroids because I truly do not like them. So if your symptoms aren't too severe, try to avoid Prednisone as long as you can. Yes, some it can be a miracle drug and it will help get their symptoms under control quickly but I have seen so many people on here that have had bad reactions to (side effect wise) or end up on high doses for long periods. Long term steroid use is so bad for the bones, not to mention the eyes. I don't mean to scare about the steroid because if you need it, you need it - but you don't have to use it if you don't want to is what I guess I'm trying to say. Alot of docs throw their patients on steroids at the first sign of trouble instead of trying to let the conventional 5-ASA's do their work. Mainly because steroids are faster and with the 5-ASA's it takes patience.

Another med they use frequently are enemas either liquid 5-ASA (Rowasa or Salofalk), steroid foam or enemas - these work a bit differently then oral Prednisone and aren't as bad - side effect wise. Or suppositories (Canasa). It all depends on where the inflammation level is at in your colon. Liquid tends to reach higher up into the colon then the suppository.

But, since you are newly diagnosed, I also recommend you visit www.ccfa.org for more info. Once again, welcome to HW.
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Allergies-Singulair
~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Fibromyalgia-'06~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3238
   Posted 2/25/2008 7:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like you have already gotten some great advice....I just wanted to say hello and welcome!
Tabitha (Tab)

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

Co-Moderator UC Forum

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 2/25/2008 8:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome, MathGeek. I really don't have anything to add to the excellent information above. Hang in there, and remember you're not alone. We've all been where you are, and there is light at the end of that very dark tunnel.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa, Prednisone, Entocort, Azathioprine
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
In remission since April, 2006. Remicade has been my wonder drug.
Co-Moderator UC Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1028
   Posted 2/25/2008 8:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Just my experience. I was diagnosed and they immediately put me on the rowasa enemas and the asacal. I went into remission immediately and stayed there for quite sometime. The prednisone did not come until much later. good luck.
diagnosed with left-sided UC in 1997.
Currently on 10mg Prednisone
12 caps of colazal
rowasa enema nightly
35 years old, white, female

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 646
   Posted 2/25/2008 2:08 PM (GMT -6)   
The advice above is great, but just wanted to add that I know what it is like to deal with the new diagnosis as a teacher.

When I was diagnosed with severe UC I was a first-year teacher and terrified of losing my job. I muscled through the worst days and did end up hosiptalized, but funny enough, I joke that I only missed the five school days that I was in the hospital!!

Ten years later I still have the same job and the same disease!!

Diagnosed April 1998 - Pancolitis
Currently on (per day):
Pentasa 4 gms
Imuran 100 mgs

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 5134
   Posted 2/25/2008 11:17 PM (GMT -6)   

I agree with Sherry check out the ccfa.org they have lots of great information on there.

If you are worried about how your life will be affected by uc there is a cure (SURGERY) but most of us do not want to go for surgery until we have tried all of the meds out there..... other people opt for surgery right away.

DX'd with Pan-Colitis June 2005
Current Status: Flaring since May 2007
Current Meds:  50 mgs 6-mp, Colocort, Oral Cyclosporine (250 mgs), Hyoscyamine .375 mgs
Supplements:  Forvia multi-vitamin

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 385
   Posted 2/25/2008 11:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I have nothing else to add, but so say good luck with the treatments!!
Pharmacy Student
Class of 2009, MWU

Diagnosed 8/99.  Suffered for almost 10 years.  I am currently on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and am nearning remission.  I feel fantastic!  My next goal is to gain the 15 lbs I lost 6 weeks ago and start living life again.  I have lost so many years to this disease. 

I decided to become a pharmacist to understand these drugs, and to help fellow sufferers of IBD.  My goal is to open up a pharmacy and take care of my patients(particularly explaining what the drugs do to you), compound special medications, and have a great practice. 

3200 mg Asacol, 5 mg prednisone

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