Information about 6-MP

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perach
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 116
   Posted 2/27/2008 3:28 PM (GMT -6)   
So, it seems that I am flaring again so I am ramping my meds back up, but my doctor mentioned to me that if we can't get it under control he would recommend I start taking a 6-MP instead of going the prednisone route.  I know the plan would be to stay on it for years and this makes me nervous.  Can anyone give me information about being on this type of drug?  Side effects; effectiveness; etc.?  Thanks very much and good health to all!

-currently having a flare
-prednisone , rowasa enema, Lialda (4 pills 1 time a day), canasa, probiotic, multivitamin, calcium with vitamin d, iron


suebear
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 2/27/2008 3:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Back in the 1990s when I took 6mp there were a lot of unknowns on it's long term side effects. However, I opted to take as I didn't want surgery. Since then they have discovered that it's a fairly safe drug to take. My GIs idea was to have me take 6mp for 5 years and then go off of it and stay on Asacol. I never got to try that but my understanding is that it is a drug that you do not stay on for life.

Sue
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


blueclassring
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 385
   Posted 2/27/2008 4:21 PM (GMT -6)   
This drug works by suppressing the immune system, and is used as a chemotherapy in large doses. Typically, you will have to be monitored every couple months by blood tests to make sure you are not having a toxic reaction(ie liver problems) while on the drug and ensure you are receiving therapeutic levels. I was where you were at 7 weeks ago, and refused to take the 6-mp for personal reasons and professional reasons. I opted to control my disease with diet, and I have achieved remission....
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
HAVE YOU CONSIDERED THE SCD DIET? IT HAS PUT ME IN REMISSION AND I PLAN ON GETTING OFF THE ASACOL SOON TOO!


perach
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 116
   Posted 2/27/2008 4:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you both for this information. I am not inclined to start a medicine I would have to take for years. I am already taking Lialda every day and I really am loathe to add something else, especially something that seems a bit toxic.

blueclassring-if you are comfortable doing so, I would be curious for more details on why you decided not to take it? Since you are a pharmacy student, I am sure you know a lot about it. Thanks!
-currently having a flare
-prednisone , rowasa enema, Lialda (4 pills 1 time a day), canasa, probiotic, multivitamin, calcium with vitamin d, iron


blueclassring
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 385
   Posted 2/27/2008 6:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I do know a lot about this drug, and doing the research at my school library didn't encourage me. Additionally, I am tired of taking medications to manage this disease. I have been on meds for 9 years, and have been in a semi-flare state for a long time.(diarrhea never left, and urgency was always somewhat there). I have been on steriods for a little under a year, and my disease state was really not improving and doc wanted to put me on 6-mp. No way, no how. The way this disease progresses for some of us tends to necessitate the use of stronger immunosuppressive drugs(Remicade, Humira, 6-mp, 6-tg, and whole host of others drugs), and then finally the drugs stop working and you need surgery and a bag!

I have decided to take control of it now instead of letting it get much worse, and find out what is causing the inflammation. For me it is food(in the form of complex sugars). I am almost off the drugs and into remission.(2.5 mg of prednisone till next monday, and I'm done) Many people have been using the Specific Carbohydrate diet to heal themselves. Luckily, I am one of them. It's kind of crazy because I have discovered that drugs aren't the solution to all of our ailments and I am specializing in this field. It's pretty ironic!!
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
HAVE YOU CONSIDERED THE SCD DIET? IT HAS PUT ME IN REMISSION AND I PLAN ON GETTING OFF THE ASACOL SOON TOO!


tjf
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3238
   Posted 2/27/2008 7:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Perach..we have (myself included) a lot of members that are successfully taking either 6mp or Imuran. I suggest you go over all the pros and cons w/ your GI. That way you can make an informed decision about what is best for you!
Tabitha (Tab)

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

http://www.healingwell.com/donate
Co-Moderator UC Forum


ks1905
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 5045
   Posted 2/27/2008 8:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I really have to agree with TJF on this..... go over all the information with your GI because your GI will have a lot of first hand knowledge about 6-mp because many of his/her patients are probably using 6mp/imuran.  If your GI does not have many patients on 6mp/imuran I would suggest finding another GI.   Many IBD'ers seek out a second or third opinion from other GIs when it comes to starting immunosurpressents because it is a big step in the course of living with /treating an IBD.  I would suggest reading this topic http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=38&m=1055869 there is a great article included in the topic.
 
Remember you have the right to refuse medical treatment if you are not comfortable with it.
 
--Keith
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
 


uc_free
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 646
   Posted 2/27/2008 8:28 PM (GMT -6)   
i am on Imuran right now and the only thing I will suggest is really sticking to the idea of weight-based dose. My doctor had me on waaaay more than I should have been and I ended up getting sick CONSTANTLY and feeling totally listless most of the time. It was terrible. Now that I am back on the right dose, I am still tired, but fingers crossed I have been healthy thus far.
Tara

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


perach
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 116
   Posted 2/28/2008 11:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the advice re: the weight based dose, I would never have thought of that. I will take all of everyone's advice into account, I think I am leaning towards telling my doctor that I don't want to take them. The last time I had extreme fatigue from colitis meds I had so much trouble at work. And I really feel like I'm on enough meds already.


-currently having a flare
-prednisone , rowasa enema, Lialda (4 pills 1 time a day), canasa, probiotic, multivitamin, calcium with vitamin d, iron

Post Edited (perach) : 2/28/2008 10:33:32 AM (GMT-7)


dakotagirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3402
   Posted 2/28/2008 12:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Imuran isn't really a weight based dose - it's a dose on how your body metabolizes it.

I decided to go on Imuran after a frank talk with my doctor about side effects, after much research and discussion on this forum, and after much research and discussion about the side effects of prednisone, which I was dependent on. My GI suggested it, and I wasn't ready. I saw him a month later, after I researched it, and decide to try it. I wish I would have started it sooner. It's really helped me. Also, now that I've ready the study that Keith linked you to, I wish I would have done it years ago. If I could have avoided that last nine months of pred, my bones would be in much better condition.

Talk to your doc. Talk to a second, or maybe even a third doc. Find a treatment plan that BOTH you and your doc are comfortable with.
Pan-colitis and GERD diagnosed May 2003
 
Asacol 12 per day,  Azathioprine 75mg, Aciphex, Effexor XR, Forvia and a Probiotic
Osteopenia (hip and spine) from prednisone use.  Started Azathioprine because I was steroid dependent.
 
Co-Mod for the UC forum
Keep HealingWell running smoothly:  www.healingwell.com/donate


perach
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 116
   Posted 2/28/2008 1:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for the advice, I really like my doctor but I do think it would be helpful to get a second or third opinion before making such a big decision. This morning I was leaning towards not taking ithe 6-mp, but from what you all are writing, I see that I need to really consider both sides of this before making a decision. Glad to hear it has been helpful to many of you, I really can't face another course of prednisone, I had extreme side effects the last time I took it.
-currently having a flare
-prednisone , rowasa enema, Lialda (4 pills 1 time a day), canasa, probiotic, multivitamin, calcium with vitamin d, iron

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