Questions regarding Imuran

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Candy Ghost
New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 6/4/2009 6:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, first time poster here! I'm a 19 year old girl who was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when I was 16. I have been in my current flare since last April, so I'm going into my 14th month. During this time I have been on and off of Prednisone, while also taking Asacol. I also took Remicade for four months, until my allergic reactions became so severe that it wasn't worth the effort.

I have been on Humira for four months, and am currently tapering off of Prednisone. So far, the Humira seems to be working the best, though I wouldn't say I am completely in remission. I have also started seeing a naturopath, and now I am taking various supplements.

I saw my doctor today and he was suggesting that we look into Imuran, as I seem to have problems coming off Prednisone. I'm not really familiar with Imuran, nor do I know any IBD patients in person who have taken Imuran, and I was wondering if some of you could share your experiences with it. The most I know about it is that it can take around 6 months to kick in and comes with a slew of side effects, including nausea and vomiting (which I have a fear of).

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 6/4/2009 8:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I have never had any negative side effects from Imuran and I think it helped me stay in remission for several years. (Although in the past few years it appears to not work as well, but that happens with drugs sometimes). I was told 3 months to kick in. Also you will need to get monthly blood tests done to watch your counts. I encourage you to try it if your doctor recommends it, I think it has helped a lot of people! Good luck!
UC since 1996 (age 20)
Mommy of 2 sweet little girls.
My life is one big flare.

Candy Ghost
New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 6/6/2009 4:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your reply. My doctor mentioned the frequent blood tests, which I'm totally used to. :P I suppose that I am willing to try anything if it would only put me into remission.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2105
   Posted 6/6/2009 11:03 PM (GMT -6)   
No side affects, and no positive affects either, lol. Used a year, and took myself off of it.
Proctitis DX 1999, Pancolitis DX 2008
Golimumab study (100mg every 4 weeks)
L-Glutamine 5000 mg + 600 mg pyridoxal alpha-ketoglutarate
Probiotis/VitD3 5000IU+Ca/1000mg DHA

Rio in Maryland
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 891
   Posted 6/7/2009 5:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Same here. No side-effects, and no benefit, so stopped after taking it for over a year. However, it has worked very well for some, and could be worth a try.
Rio, 33 year old male. Diagnosed with UC in 2006
100 mg Azathioprine (stopped), 4800 mg Asacol
VSL#3 x 3 times a day, Metamucil wafers
Vitamin E enema or Asacol enema occasionally
Spinach & sunflower seed diet / Juicing spinach and carrots

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 6/11/2009 3:44 AM (GMT -6)   


I found it great.  It took  nearly 5 months to kick in but I have been very well for over 3 years now so much so that I have made some major advancements in my work and career.

Side effects for me : Brain Block - not serious but sometimes ordinary words get stuck and I occasionally lose my train of thought - also recently my bloods have shown low platelet count (but I think this is very individual).  No other side effects of note although at the begining you feel a bit funny but passes after a few weeks - feeling of being kind of aware of your body.


BTW: while I was waiting for the immuran to kick in I was on Asacol and steroid enemas.


Good luck


Diagnosed 1999 - Pancolitis -Currently in Remission
Imuran 100mg, 500mg Calcium,

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 141
   Posted 6/11/2009 9:01 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been taking Imuran for 7/8 months now, but am thinking about coming off it. I had a fairly bad experience for the first couple of weeks - it felt like having a virus and I could barely get out of bed. But after that it has been fine, except that I am ill constantly - no idea whether that is caused by the immuno-suppression. I would say it is worth trying if you have no other options, but it does increase your risks of various cancers and isn't ideal to take if/when you want to try for a baby (which is why I am planning on stopping).
Ulcerative Colitis: diagnosed as moderate pan-colitis August 2008. Prednisolone saved me.
Current meds: Azathioprine (100mg); Asacol (too much - 6 tablets twice a day); Pentasa enemas and suppositories as needed (both great).

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 6/11/2009 1:51 PM (GMT -6)   

I didn't see any immediate improvement and after a month or so my livers started to get worse so my doctor took me off.  It also made me feel miserable the first day or so I was on it and then towards the end I started to feel worse and worse each day, a day after I was taken off it I felt 110% better.   

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

Post Edited (Howright) : 6/11/2009 2:05:09 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 6/11/2009 3:47 PM (GMT -6)   

I've been on Azathioprine (UK equivalent to Imuran I think) for just over 5 weeks, I have no idea if its gonna work yet as I also was told 3 months. I really struggled with it for the first few weeks...I felt (and still do feel) very 'spaced out' and not with it. I also struggled quite a lot with the nausea, however my GP prescribed me some anti sickness tablets which have helped and they've also contributed to me feeling incredibly tired. I'm still struggling with the side effects but they have lessened the longer I've been taking it.

I'd rather at least give it a go and if even after 3 months it hasn't worked - at least I'll know I gave it a go!

22 year old female, from the UK. Diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctitis Jan '08. Hospitalised Jan '09 for 3 days IV Hydrocortisone - had no effect! Hospitalised Feb '09 for 7 days (5 days - IV Hydrocortisone)
Currently taking daily: 
20mg Prednisolone tablets, 100mg Azathioprine (started taking 11th May),1g Acetarsol suppository every other night, 1g Mesalazine granules x 2 
Motilium (anti sickness), 1.5mg Zopiclone (taken when needed for sleeping), 10mg Citalopram (anti-anxiety/depression), Probiotic Multivitamins 

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/12/2009 1:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi folks, I'm new to this forum but thought I'd chip in.

I was prescribed azathioprine in January this year. I initally felt quite nauseous after taking the tablets, however some anti-sickness tablets that my GP prescribed me really helped. I also felt quite tired as well. However, after short while, I ceased to feel this way.

This week my GI increased my dose and thus far, I have experienced no side-effects.

I guess over time I will see how effective it proves to be for me.

Best Wishes,
24, Male, UK
"Particularly treatment-resistant" proctosigmoiditis diagnosed Spring 2008
Current Meds: Azathoprine, Asacol, Prednisolone when needed
Status: Currently in my 6th flare
Unrelated: Cardiac arrest survivor

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