I've been on 6MP for over five years now. It really hasn't kept me out of flares. I still get a flare once a year. Last May when admitted to the hospital my pancreatic enzyme levels were extremely high and my GI doctor took me off the 6MP. However, six days later (still in hospital), my enzyme levels had returned to normal...so, I have no idea whether it was caused by the 6MP, a lab boo boo or what. Put me bck on the 6MP last summer because I just couldn't get into remission. I was on prednisone for seven months. The 6MP finally kicked in after about three months and I was tapered off the pred. Nov 1st was my last dose of prednisone. The only side effect I have from the 6MP is thinning of my hair. I told my GI doctor on Wednesday about it and his answer..."well, would you rather be suffering with the UC or have thin hair." I can always plop on a wig..lol.
My doctor keeps close tabs on my enzyme levels and liver function tests and so far, so good. My white count is kinda low...2.9 this month, but everything else is A-OK. My rectum has felt a little funky this last week and I started the Cort enemas every other night. I've had this disease for over ten years and know when things aren't just right.
One more thing I would like to add. I saw a GI surgeon after being discharged from the hospital, but still flaring. His opinion was that the 6MP is helping me even if I do have yearly flares. My UC is confined to my rectum and his thought were that the 6MP is keeping the UC from traveling further into the colon. He also put my mind at ease because I was concerned about lymphoma. He mentioned that in all his years of practice (and it has to be over 30 yrs), he had only come across one patient who developed Lymphoma while on 6MP and who is to say that patient wouldn't develop Lymphoma had he not been on 6MP? Hope this puts your mind at ease somewhat.
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.