confused about the medications?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 401
   Posted 6/20/2008 8:13 AM (GMT -6)   
hi- my daughter was put on 6mp back in january, she also is on rifaxamin and doesn't
want to stop it and coloazol- she is holding steady and feeling well except a little more tired than she used to.
I worry about 6mp and it's possible risks, and now that she is feeling well i wonder if we should eliminate it and see if the other 2 drugs are what is keeping her feeling has always been that it was the rectal meds and the rifaxamin and colozol that worked because the bleeding stopped with in a week of starting those and 6mp take s many weeks to begin.
having said all of this her scope showed no sighn of disease right now, i don't know what to do about thie 6mp?
can you return to 6mp if you go off it? thanks for any input.
Mom to 19 year old daughter diagnosed 11/07.
colazal 3 x3 daily
purinethol 6mp=50mg daily
culturelle probiotic 1 daily
chewable vitamin
xifaxan antibiotic 400mg 2x day soon to be weaned

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 1366
   Posted 6/20/2008 8:19 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't think I've ever heard that you can't restart 6-MP after stopping but I could be wrong. I know with Remicade, if you stop infusions and try to start again later it probably won't work for you because you build up antibodies, but 6-MP would probably be fine. The main reason people take drugs like Imuran and 6-MP is to get off and stay off steroids (prednisone).
Female, 22, Ulcerative colitis (pancolitis) since 1999; GERD; gastritis; osteopenia in hip & lumbar region of the spine from long term prednisone use.

Current Meds:
10mg Lexapro (for depression/social anxiety)
Digestive Advantage: Crohn's and Colitis formula (2 pills per day, started 5/14/08)
125mg Azathioprine
4800mg Asacol (Four 400mg tablets, three times a day)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 6/20/2008 8:30 AM (GMT -6)   
6mp has been proven to be a safe drug. Little was known about it when I took it in the 1990s and like you I worried about long term side effects. I never did experience side effects and it's now been over 7 years since I last took it. In the early 2000s a report came out indicating it's safeness. The drug you need to really keep away from is prednisone. Much has been researched and documented about it's long term and short term side effects. Remicade is an unknown at this point, I think it will be several more years before we know of it's safety.

Before stopping the 6mp I would talk with your daughter's GI. Certainly if he/she feels that the 6mp is maintaining the remission you probably don't want to stop it.

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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1766
   Posted 6/20/2008 9:39 AM (GMT -6)   
6MP is supposed take awhile to kick in (my GI told me it would be 4-8 weeks before noticing a difference in symptoms and 2-3 months before going into remission--and this is if you're on 6MP alone). And I don't think 6MP has side effects like prednisone or even Remicade. I would talk to the GI about your concerns.
Female, Age 19, Dx w/ UC August 2007
9 Asacol, Rowasa1000 mg Canasa, Proctofoam, Rifaximin 2/day
Digestive Advantage (Crohn's & Colitis), 1 Florastor, 50 mg 6MP,1 Primadophilus reuteri, 1 DanActive, Remicade (1st infusion 06/08), 2.4 g Lialda

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 6/20/2008 10:32 AM (GMT -6)   
stopping a medication you run into the possibility of a huge flare up. that's what happened to me. I was doing just fine on Asacol then had to stop taking it (gave me kidney disease) and was put on prednisone, I went into a massive flare up that I believed changed my proctosigmoiditis to pan-colitis.

Also, I took aspirin and went into a flare up recently.

IMO - our bodies are very sensitive and if it is not causing her any problems, then I would not rock the boat. I remember reading all your posts just to get her to this point of not being in a flare sounded like a nightmare.

Also, I do not think you can always achieve remission the same way using the same meds for the same length of time, what worked before may not work again (maybe sometimes but not all). I personally would not risk a flare up, at least give her a year to be on the meds and flare free, her body really needs to rest especially before trying to go off any meds.

Just my 2 cents.
Beth, 32 ~ small flare - hoping caused by aspirin - hydrocortisone e's
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07
UC dx'd 03/00 (Proctosigmoiditis); Pancolitis since 09/07
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Prilosec, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) dx'd 09/07 - partial remission since 03/08
Prednisone 40mg 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Tekturna 150mg 1xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.  Do you have edema? If so, check your blood protien level!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 320
   Posted 6/20/2008 7:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, you can return to 6-MP once you stop it. BUT, remember, it will take somewhere between 2 and 6 months to start working again.

I will point out, that although some people stress over 6-MP when they first read of the side effects, they forget to compare that to Prednisone, Remicade and the other drugs we take.

By comparison, 6-MP is a very safe drug with an extremely low complication rate. If your daughters GI is monitoring her properly, they will be ensuring that her white cell count is stable and that metabolite levels are within a safe range.

I will also point out that your daughter is on a rather safe dose of 6-MP. Many of us on this forum have been on doses as high as 200mg PER day.

The decision is your daughters but I would very strongly suggest that you both discuss changes to her medications with your GI as there is a great deal of IF this THEN this when it comes to UC.

I am so glad your daughter is getting better. :-)
"We are dreamers, shapers, singers and makers..." - Elric, Technomage
  • 28yo male. Brisbane, Australia. Diagnosed at 16yo. Currently enjoying severe pan-colitis.
    - Participating in the Golimumab trial as of 1st May, 2008;
    - 2x Colazide, twice a day; 25mg of 6-MP a day; 1xAllopurnol;
    - 1x teaspoon of Metamucil 3 times a day;
    - 1x BIOCeuticals UltraBiotic 45 + 1x SB FlorActiv twice a day.

Old Hat
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 5191
   Posted 6/21/2008 8:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Bump from page 2! / Old Hat

Elite Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 6/21/2008 8:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Huh. Thanks, Old Hat. How the heck did that happen?
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroid therapy.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.

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