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Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 650
   Posted 2/26/2009 11:12 PM (GMT -6)   
So I have been put on prednisone for a bad flare up. I continued taking my 4 Lialda a day... because she was hoping to taper me fast and hoping that I'd be okay still taking the Lialda. The reason for that is because we thought my flare started because I got the Flu and had two kidney stones and wasn't eating enough to take my meds... Well... I was on 40mg for a week and have been on 30mg for two weeks. I still have blood mixed in and multiple bms a day and pain with my bms... and really sensitive to food. I've been extremely fatigued and stressed too.

anyways... I was supposed to have an appointment today, but couldn't make it so my doctor called me instead. (we usually only talk about my symptoms and paths anyways in the office)

she is going to make me go do lab testing to see what dose of Imuran to go on... and a stool test to make sure there are no infections going on. She also wants me to go back on 40mg of pred.

I'm really scared of this azathioprine/Imuran..... the thing that scares me most is... Long-term use of this medication increases the risk of developing neoplasias (cancerous or noncancerous growths). Azathioprine can also cause blood disorders (e.g., leukopenia). LIKE HOLY COW... that's scary.

Any advice or like... reassuring words?
Kara, 22F Married.
Latest-Went to ER cuz I couldn't eat for 5 days and was having severe flare up after passing two kidney stones after a week of the flu. (long month)
GI is currently trying to taper me off of pred fairly fast in hopes to keep me on Lialda and at a lower dosage of pred. to try mesalamine enemas again. Hope it works...if it doesn't.. I go on Imuran and am on pred longer. *crosses fingers*
Medications:Prednisone 40mg Again! (groan)Lialda 4 a day Antibiotic-Amoxyclln
I am so sick of this disease!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 2/27/2009 8:48 AM (GMT -6)   
I was on it for about a year and a half. I'm guessing that once it gets you into remission your doctor might take you off of it. Maybe you should ask your doctor about how long he/ she plans on keeping you on this. My GI took me off for that exact reason you are worried about. I heard that they are switching people to other drug related medicines too. Don't really remember what though. I know your doctor will monitor your blood draws closely, he/ she kinda has to because of the precautions of this drug.
27 year old, Married, Female.
Diagnosed with UC since March 2007

Taking Humira and Imuran since May 2007 (Currently in remission since May 2007)
Taken off Imuran 1/15/09
Only taking Humira.

Can't take Asacol, Allergic to Remicade

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 94
   Posted 2/27/2009 11:42 AM (GMT -6)   


I have been on Imuran for a few months now and i have had NO side effects from it at all.  I have become steroid dependant to Prednisone and my doctor has been trying to taper me off.  He first put me on 6MP and i became very ill on that and my liver started to shut down so he switched me over to Imuran.  So far so good.  I am just now trying to taper off the pred and it is VERY hard but i am determined to get off of this drug.  His plan is to get me off of the pred and just keep me on the Imuran for 2-3 years and then get me off of that as well.  Of course, he does a lot of monitoring needed when on these drugs (bloodwork, bonescans, etc).

First Diagnosed with Microscopic Colitis 10/07
Diagnosed with UC instead 3/2008
10mg Prednisone
75mg Imuran
75mg 6-MP
Calcium + Vit D
Entocort 9mg daily
800mg Asacol 3X daily

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 169
   Posted 2/27/2009 12:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been on Imuran for nearly 2 years. It has been great. Yes, I also worry about the long-term effects. I asked my DR. about it and he said after a couple of year without issue, he would be willing to stop taking the Imuran and just use a maintenance med like Asacol. But as good as things are going now, I don't want to screw anything up. I hate taking drugs, but I also hate being seriously ill.
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 2/27/2009 1:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I was worried too when I went on it.  I was on it to get off the last round of prednisone, but only ended up needing to be on it for 1 1/2 months which was pretty sweet. 
I'm like you, a little freaked by the side effects and I really don't like being on any more meds than necessary.  One nice thing about Imuran is you can get off it without tapering, so when you're ready, you just quit taking it. 
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 : 20
   Posted 2/27/2009 1:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey there!
Although there are longterm side effects of Imuran, there are also harmful side effects of long term prednisone use as well. If you need to go on Imuran in order to get you off prednisone, I would say go for it. I do have to disagree with Howright however, some people are able to stop taking Imuran without tapering, but others actually do need to taper much like prednisone. I think it depends on the person.
In my case, I am allergic to Imuran and unable to tolerate it. A couple weeks after taking it I became jaundiced and went into organ failure. It was simply too toxic of a drug for me.
best of luck to you though! I hope it works for you. :-)
20 yrs old.
diagnosed April 2008.

Prednisone - daily maintenance dose of 30mg. (6pills)
Salofalk - 4500mg daily (9pills).
Iron - 900mg daily (3 pills).
Calcium - 1000mg daily (2pills).

Allergic to Imuran.
In the process of starting Remicade.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 2/27/2009 2:14 PM (GMT -6)   
     WOW are these posts scary!  I've been on 6MP for more than five years now.  It really hasn't kept me in remission, I have yearly flares, but I saw a GI surgeon and he explained to me that in his opinion my flares would have been much worse.  Can't figure that one out because my last flare landed me in the hospital.  However, my UC is confined to my rectum and the surgeon said after suffering with UC as long as I have I am fortunate it is still JUST in the rectum.  The 6MP could be helping in that respect.
     My regular GI doctor tried to put my mind at ease by relating that the dosage I am taking is much less than the dose given to cancer patients.  Well, I lowered my dosage to 50 mgm one day and 25 the next.  Taking 75 mgm of the 6MP lowered my white count drastically and I didn't like that one bit.
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/ 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.

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