Oh I am so sorry to hear you have such a young son with this illness. My heart goes out to you. I am an old lady of 62 and didn't get UC until I was 52. I have been on 6MP, which is similar to Imuran, or so I've been told, for five years and the only side effect I have noticed is thinning of hair. My pancreatic enzyme levels were very high when I was admitted to the hospital last May and my GI doctor was concerned that it was the 6MP causing this and took me off for about a month. At the end of the hospitalization (10 days) my enzyme levels had returned to normal. My GI doctor put me back on the 6MP about a month later because I was on prednisone and couldn't seem to be able to taper without my symptoms returning. The 6MP took about three more months to kick in. I was on the prednisone till the 1st of November. My GI is more concerned about the effects of prednisone than the 6MP. I do have to have monthly blood tests and my white count is quite low...2.4. I lowered my 6MP dosage to 50 mgm (unbeknownst to my GI doctor...don't recommend this) and my white count is still low. I will tell him at my next visit...he knows I do things like this. My pancreatic enzyme levels are still within normal limits and I often wonder if the hospital lab made some mistake in the first place.
To put your mind at somewhat of ease....I saw a GI surgeon after I was discharged from the hospital and still in a flare. I told him my concerns about the 6MP and he said in all his years of practice (he is probably around my age and considered one of the top GI surgeons in the US) he has only run across one patient who developed Lympoma while on the 6MP and who is to say that patient wouldn't have developed the disease even if not on the 6MP.
62 yr old granny. South Jersey
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008
Update 11/03/08...finally in remission!! Hope I don't jinx myself. Off the prednisone since 11/01/08...now see if I can stay off for longer than two weeks. Other meds: 6MP (75 mgm), colazal (6 per day), Benicar and Toprol (high blood pressure meds), Probiotic (2 per day), fish oil capsule and multi-vitamin and calcium with vitamin D.