azathioprine question

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 2/17/2009 9:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,just wondering if anyone can share their aza experience with me,I know all the side efects etc,I'm intersested in how long people have been on Imuran and what happened when they came off my GI was being very vague about it all saying most people stay on it for five years then come off and have to take it again or flare badly when they stop I was hoping I moght be able to go back to pentasa etc that was ok untill the last big flare anyone out there managed to go back to just maintaince meds after azathriopine,that can give me some hope.
Also I'm not sure how effective the azathrioprine is actually anyway
Thanks Anna

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 2/17/2009 11:36 AM (GMT -6)   
So far, i have been on Imuran for 3 months with absolutely no side effects (which is nice, since i wasn't able to tolerate 6-MP). I am on it to help me get off of Prednisone as i have become steroid dependant and supposedly Imuran helps you get off of it. I can't really tell yet if it is actually doing anything or not since i am still on pred, but i am starting to taper and so far it's shaky, so i'm assuming it isn't :( Time will tell, but like you my dr. said if it works then i will be on it for at least 2 years as a maintenance drug and then go from there.
First Diagnosed with Microscopic Colitis 10/07
Diagnosed with UC instead 3/2008
10mg Prednisone
50mg Imuran
75mg 6-MP
Calcium + Vit D
Entocort 9mg daily
800mg Asacol 3X daily

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 2/17/2009 12:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been on Imuran for a few weeks, and I haven't really noticed the effects yet. My GI told me it could be up to 3 months before I notice anything. My blood work has been okay (weekly pokes) according to my doctor. Like ErinD, I'm also on pred (20 mg) and my fondest wish is to get off it ASAP. It makes me feel awful, doesn't seem to control my symptoms AT ALL and I hate it. Honestly? With all the other stuff I'm on, I don't know if the Imuran is making me feel better, worse, or the same.
38 year old woman
Diagnosed October 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Current meds: 20 mg Prednisone, 75 mg Imuran (about to boost to 100). About to start another round of antibiotics as well.
Failed meds: Asacol, Pentasa

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 169
   Posted 2/17/2009 1:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been on azathioprine for about a year and a half. I started at 75 mg and it didn't do much until I got to my current dose of 200mg. Yes, it often takes a while to kick in. It got me off the prednisone and into remission. I had a few side effects at first--nausea, headaches mostly, but have none now. My doctor said we'll just stay on it for now and see down the road about maybe backing off and trying something like Asacol only (which didn't work the first time around.) While I don't like being on this medicine, it is likely keeping me well and I don't want to screw that up!
UC diagnosed Dec. 2006
Azathioprine 200mg/day
Multivitamin, fish oil, fiber supplement, Nature's Way Primadophilus Optima, Digestive Advantage Crohn's & Colitis

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 2/17/2009 1:18 PM (GMT -6)   


I just got off it a couple of weeks ago because my liver wasn't tolerating it.

I was on it so I could taper off of prednisone and it did allow me to do just that.  I didn't really have any side effects other than the last week I was on it I started to feel icky, nothing specific but I just felt like I had the beginning of the flu or something.  I went for my bi-weekly blood test and the doctor called the next day and told me to stop taking it because my livers were too high and I felt better the next day.  I don't think the icky-ness was a side effect necessarily, instead it was just a reaction to me being on it. 

I dealt with my doctor's nurse over the phone when I went on it and she told me that there weren't any side effects.  She was so laid back about it that I was shocked when I started reading about it online and then when I went to pick up my script and the pharmacist literally pulled me aside and asked me what I was using it for.  I was freaked but I honestly would trust my gastro over anyone else and figured if he put me on it, it should be fine even long term.  I am glad I didn't stay on it just because I really don't like being on any medication long term unless it is truly necessary.   

So the point to my babbling is . . if your doctor put it on you, it should be fine.  If you have concerns at any point, talk to him or her directly. 

Diagnosed January 07 - but realize I've been living with minor flare-ups for 10+ years. 
Asacol 3 pills/3 times a day.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 135
   Posted 2/17/2009 2:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been on Imuran about 5 months and am now pred free ^_^
Blood work has all been fine and I havn't noticed any major side effect, just a headache every once in awhile and some mild nausea once or twice a month. Other than that, all's good.
21 yr/old Uni student. Vancouver, BC
Imuran 150 mgs/day

Prednisone is no more! (last dose Feb 16/09)
Diagnosed UC Sept. 2007
Cal-Mag, CoQ10, L-glutamine. Also now trying probiotics Bio-K (acidophilus)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 205
   Posted 2/17/2009 10:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I started Azathioprine (50 mg) when I was tapering off Prednisone. I had to stop taking it 3 months later because of my poor blood work. I was taking only 75 mg per day then. (I weigh 100 pounds.) My GI doctor said I could start taking it again later when my blood work turned better. But I told her frankly that I didn't want to try any more.

My symptoms continued and I started using Entocort enema nightly since last September . It helped me a great deal. But unfortunately I can't wean it off completely till the present.

BTW, Azathioprine made me lose my hair, lots of it.
Ulcerative proctitis diagnosed in July 2006. Medications: Salofalk enema nightly.
Remission from Nov 2006 to Oct 2007. Then a bad cold and a bad flare for 1 year till Nov 2008.
Pancolitis diagnosed in April 2008. Current medications: Salofalk enema, Salofalk tablets 1000mg x 2/day, Entocort enema (tapering).
Supplements: Calcium with Vitamin D, Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin C, psyllium capsule (Metamucil) and bee propolis.

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