Does anyone else get ill almost every week on AZA/6MP?

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 141
   Posted 6/15/2009 4:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been in azathioprine since October 2008 and haven't really had the standard side effect of nausea. However, I have been ill with what feels like a virus almost every week. I get things like a mild fever, swollen glands, coughs, colds. It is slightly different every time and I do get well again after each ill spell. Is this being caused by the immuno-suppressants? I should say that I haven't been the healthiest person since I had glandular fever (mono) about a decade ago, but have never been as ill as I have been over the past 6 months.

My GI seems relatively un-interested in these symptoms - just has the usual obsession about wanting to know about my colon!!! But for me, although the AZA may well be working (I'm in remission, but have never tried getting by without it), my quality of life doesn't make me feel like continuing on it.
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).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 6/15/2009 4:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I was on 6MP for 1.5 years and never had even a head cold while on it.

dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 460
   Posted 6/16/2009 7:19 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been on 6MP for almost 2 years. I get a few colds/flu things a year but nothing like you're describing. I don't find that I get sick any more than before being on it. I'm sorry your doctor is only concerned about your colon, that's pretty much always been the case for me too with any doctor I've had. I'd be persistent in trying to get to the bottom of your ill feelings. Being in remission but feeling sick all the time must be horrible.
Female, Age 38
Diagnosed w/c.diff 7/02 when pregnant w/1st and only child during 2nd trimester(wasn't on antibiotics)
C.diff flare within weeks of delivering baby 1/03, Diagnosed with UC 2/03
Current Meds:
Lialda, 6MP
Ferrex Forte
Acidophillus, Sacchromyces Boulardii, Oil of Oregano

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 6/16/2009 11:00 AM (GMT -6)   
I was on 75 mg of 6mp for 4 years and then went up to 100 when I started to flare. I never got sick anymore than a typical person, however, when I did get sick I would stay sick for awhile. The average cold that would take a few days for a typical person to get rid of might take me 2 weeks. THis was the same for any type of virus. I think it's a side effect of being on the 6 mp. Sorry your docwon't listen though.
Diagnosed when 13 and am now 25, female. Currently taking 100mg of 6mp, started at 60 mg of prednisone was down to 15 from slow taper and now back up to 20, and 12 pills of asacol a day. I was on cortifoam 2 times a day and am now going to start Canasa instead. I take Carafate 4 times a day for cramping and to firm up the "stuff."

Previously I've tried all types of rectal meds but nothing ever helped. In the past I've tried rowasa, enemas, pentasa, colazal, sulfasalizine. I was in a four year remission until the end of January.

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