Imuran is what made the difference for my husband. He became steroid dependant and every time he tried tapering off the prednisone it would flare terribly. May '07 hospital admission imuran started along with 40 mg of prednisone and a very very slow taper (stopped the prednisone early Dec 07) and the 75 mg of Imuran in May 07 was increased by Mayo Clinic to 150 mg in Oct 07/
Mid May to July 3rd - about
6 wks we noticed a difference in that the frequency and BMs started to show some control and he was able to abandon his being a "recluse" and go out for a few hours. It improved slowly bit by bit and by Sept/Oct he was doing much better.
He is fatigued - has to push himself sometimes to do things - not in a full remission - but having hit rock bottom and knowing what that was like he is grateful to be about
80-90% most days. He says if he started out the way he feels now on a daily basis he probably would not be a happy camper but when you can compare the lowest of lows and have some semblance of a life as he now has he is grateful for what he does have. Kind of strange but when you put things in perspective and know that so many out there are battling much worse he can accept it more readily.
He also takes the cortifoam 4-5 times a week at night - initially every day in the am and pm and that also helped a great deal too we think.
When we went to Mayo I had a number of questions about
Imuran and the specialist there told me "I know you are having concerns about
this drug - let me assure you it is a safe drug if monitored correctly." Every month my husband has 3 blood tests - the results are faxed to the Mayo Dr - he reviews them and his office calls in a prescript
ion for 30 days - we are doing this for a year. After that I am not sure if it will be every 3 months or what but that is how he is being treated at the moment.
Hope this helps you and your concerns.
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 every other PM, Canasa suppositiry AM, folic acid 1mg, Fosamax 1x month