Azathioprine / Prednisone - Questions

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 2/15/2009 2:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello All,

What is the difference between Azathioprine and Prednisone..?
How different is Azathioprine from other Mesalamine drugs?
Is it good be on Azathioprine or Mesalamine drugs like Colozal/Asacol/Lialda......
I'm confused between Azathioprine and Colozal?

Please let me know what would be the best choices......

Thanks All and Wish you a very nice weekend.............

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 650
   Posted 2/15/2009 3:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Well... Prednisone is a steroid... it takes down the inflamation in your colon... I'm on that right now again.

Mesalamine drugs are things like Lialda and Asacol.. used for maintenance of our disease.

I just was told if I can't taper down from the pred and stay on lialda... I'll be going on Azathioprine... which is Imuran. It's a drug that's even more strong than your 5-asa meds...which are the mesalamine and sulfasalazine etcetc It has serious side effects and is used to treat cancer as well.

Most GI docs will put you on the 5-asas first to see how you do. If your UC is severe maybe they'd start on 6MP or the Azathioprine...I dunno. You really need to talk to your doc though. My guess is you were just diagnosed?
Kara, 21F Married.


Prednisone 40mg Again! (groan)
Lialda 4 a day (at the moment)
I am so sick of this disease!

Mamas Boys
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1460
   Posted 2/16/2009 10:42 AM (GMT -6)   

Azathioprine is an imunosuppressant.  Which means it suppresses your immune system.

As sweetmelody said - most docs start first with the mesalamines (Asacol, Colazal, Lialda), if those don't work then they will jump to a taper of prednisone (steroids) and then on to imuran(azathioprine)/6mp (immunosuppressants) and even Remicade/Humira (biologics).

The mesalamines are prefectly safe for long term use.  Most people never get off them - they stay on these for maintenance.  Prednisone is not usually recommended for long term use - it causes many unpleasant side effects.  Azathioprine is used for long term maintenance for those that cannot achieve remission with just the mesalmines.  They also have some side effects but seem to be okay for long term use as long as you go for monthly blood tests and are monitored by a doctor.

What meds are you on now?

Mamas Boys (aka KTM)
Colazal, Azathioprine, Remicade
Culturelle, MultiVitamin, Folic Acid
Status: Remission!!

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