tapering asacol update

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TraciZ
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 255
   Posted 12/3/2008 11:05 AM (GMT -6)   
I had been extremely fatigued for quite some time and thought maybe it was the Asacol, so I started a slow taper. I reduced by 1 pill for 2 weeks, and I had some problems on Thanksgiving, but have been otherwise fine. My exhaustion is not as bad. Now, I'm reducing my dose by 1 more pill and it's been about 3 days. So far so good!
 
I just wonder how I'll know when to stop tapering, because I've reached the right dose? I was on 4 pills 3 times/day since June and it worked! I don't want to get sick again, but I don't want to take so many pills if it's not necessary.
 
 
Tressa 35 (F) in WNY
UC w/skip lesions & stomach ulcers
Asacol 12/day, prilosec twice/day, Canasa as needed


beartooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 12/3/2008 12:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the same problem with Asacol as you described, and I did a taper completely off it. I felt like a fog had lifted off of my brain when I was completely done taking Asacol. Unfortunately, it only lasted a week or so before I started getting UC symptoms, and within two weeks after stopping Asacol I entered my first flare, which I am still trying to recover from. I've been flaring since June '08 after being non-symptomatic for 2 years on Asacol.

If the goal is to simply take fewer pills a day, try switching to Lialda. You only need to take one or two a day, possibly twice a day...either is an improvement over taking pills 3 to 4 times a day. Keep in mind that Lialda has the same base medicine (mesalamine), and so if you experience fatigue from Asacol, you'll probably get it from Lialda as well. Since I'm getting the same fatigue as well, and less reduction in symptoms from Lialda, I shall soon be stopping it and trying something else.

If you are doing a slow taper, like one pill every week or two, you're body will let you know when you aren't taking enough Asacol. You'll start seeing some symptoms return, but not in full-on flare mode yet. When you reach that point, go back up one pill a day and see if that gets you stable again.

Good luck. This disease is so frustrating...the meds we take to make us better make us feel worse in different ways while helping in other ways. Trial and error with meds gets old after a while, but it is the best way to find the right cocktail for each individual.
Brandon
 
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ UC in May '06
Meds & supplements: Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Colocort, Prednisone (2.5mg/day, back up to 7.5mg), flaxseed oil, L-glutamine, magnesium, and vit B-12.
 
Tried the spinach/sunflower diet.  Saw some relief in symptoms after 1 month, but symptoms returned with the taper off prednisone.
Next up - experimental and trial drugs.


TraciZ
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 255
   Posted 12/3/2008 2:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Brandon. I took Lialda for about 9 months and it didn't help. I was flaring the entire time. Also, I took Colazal for quite a while and it didn't help, either. The Asacol is what's working for me. I'm going to continue to taper slowly and see what happens.

I've been meaning to ask you about VSL#3. It's pretty expensive. I wonder if you've noticed if it's helpful to you. What's your experience with it? I'm thinking about trying it for relief of my stomach ulcers for a month or 2.
Tressa 35 (F) in WNY
UC w/skip lesions & stomach ulcers
Asacol 12/day, prilosec twice/day, Canasa as needed


beartooth
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 12/3/2008 7:01 PM (GMT -6)   
The VSL#3 is a good probiotic for me. It is really pricey, but well worth it. I'd be careful with taking it for only a short period of time though. Once your body gets used to the stuff in VSL, it won't be happy if you stop taking it. That's the problem with probiotics...they are pretty much a life-long habit once you start.
Brandon
 
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ UC in May '06
Meds & supplements: Asacol, Florastor, VSL#3, Wellbutrin XL, Prozac, multi-vitamin, Allegra, Lialda, Colocort, Prednisone (2.5mg/day, back up to 7.5mg), flaxseed oil, L-glutamine, magnesium, and vit B-12.
 
Tried the spinach/sunflower diet.  Saw some relief in symptoms after 1 month, but symptoms returned with the taper off prednisone.
Next up - experimental and trial drugs.

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