Does Azathioprine work?

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 3/13/2010 1:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Anyone have success while taking Azathioprine? Does it help keep the colon from flaring? I am going to start taking it soon but would like to here from others if it really helps? I know it takes 2 months to begin working.
Left-sided ulcerative colitis
Sulfasaline 500mg/2 pills three times a day
Prednisone 60 mg for 7 days then taper, 40mg for 7 days, 20mg for 7 days, 10mg for 2 weeks, then 10mg every other day for 1 week
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23549
   Posted 3/13/2010 5:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm on 6mp which is similiar to Aza and for me it works somewhat. It took about 2 years of being on it for me to reach a true remission mainly because I was having a lot of outside factors (womanly hormones) that were interferring as well as I can't go into the therapeudic levels or it makes my liver toxic. But many people have success on this med. It's one of those things, it works for some and not for others and the only way to tell is if you start it. Good luck and I hope it helps you!
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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 211
   Posted 3/13/2010 11:33 AM (GMT -7)   
I've been taking only Azathioprine for almost 5 years and I've only had one minor flare that whole time. It's the only thing that's worked for me. Good luck! Oh, and taking it in the evening really helps with feeling tired from it, especially in the beginning.
Diagosed Oct 26-04 with UC
Currently in remission (since July-05)
Taking 125mg of Imuran daily (since July-05)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 3/14/2010 1:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been taking Azathioprine for roughly a year and I don't notice it working, then again im not sure how I would feel if I wasn't taking it, would things be worse?.. I didn't realise that it could take almost 2 years to properly kick in!! - Suppose Im not giving up on this med just yet! - Even if the docs are.. It will be interesting if there are more posts...
Male, 29yrs old -
Diagnosed with UC 2004, untreated for 5 years before diagnosed/treatment started.
Meds.. Azithiropine (Enuram) 125mg per day, Asacol 400mg x2/3 times a day..VSL#3 (09/02/10)
Hospitalised in 2007 for one week & Hopefully the last!! - IV Therapy

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 768
   Posted 3/14/2010 2:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Been on 150mg (bedtime) for 3 years. Occasionally get the odd minor flare and am now coming out of a medium flare with the aid of a steroid enema (Hycort).

I'm not gonna say it's great but my GI said that I would be looking at surgery without it.

Like what happens with a lot of other meds, I'm sure there will come a time when it will eventually lose it's efficacy.

Hopefully by that time something else will be rolled out by our masters (big pharma), so they can make mega billions off Americans with bottomless insurance plans.

To be honest I've never been comfortable with it as it compromises the immune system and causes some interesting side-effects that can vary with with other people. In my case it tends to give me skin problems and annoying rashes on my scalp.

Try it though and good luck with it. (takes a few months to kick-in)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2009
   Posted 3/14/2010 5:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been on it for about 4 years. It only took a few weeks to kick in for me, but everyone's different. I don't have any side-effects. I've been in remission the whole time, still coming back from issues caused by birth control though.
20yr old female diagnosed with UC (mod-sev pancolitis) in 2005 at age 15
125mg Azathioprine 1xday
500mg Vitamin C 1xday / 1000IU Vitamin D-3 1xday
Arthritis in both knees
Also: asthma, acid reflux, and Raynaud's Syndrome

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 141
   Posted 3/14/2010 7:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I would say definitely try it. The problem is that, if it works, the effect is very gradual so it is hard to figure out whether it is helping or not. I managed to maintain something pretty close to remission while I was on it, and certainly got worse when I stopped taking it. The main downside I found was that I just didn't feel 100% great (tired etc...). Stopping taking it felt like a big weight was taken off my shoulders. I didn't try taking it at night though - wish I'd come across that idea at the time (and wish our GIs gave us useful advice like that).

One other thing - when you first take it I think it is pretty common to feel fairly awful for the first couple of weeks while your body gets used to it. Plan to spend plenty of time in bed to help your body out.
Ulcerative Colitis: diagnosed as moderate pan-colitis August 2008. Prednisolone saved me. No longer taking Azathioprine (against doc's advice).
Current meds: Lialda (called Mezavant in the UK), switched from Asacol and should be taking 4.8g/day but only taking 2.4g (against doc's advice again, but I know my body better than them!); Pentasa enemas and suppositories as needed (both really great).
A low-carb SCD-style diet really appears to help me maintain remission, but it very hard to maintain when I feel well!!!
Pregnant due late September 2010.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 3/15/2010 6:41 AM (GMT -7)   
I've taken it, had no problems at all. Hope it works for you.
28 year old, Married, Female.
Diagnosed with UC since March 2007

Taking Humira since of May 2007 (Currently in remission since May 2007with minor yearly flares)
Put on Imuran from May 2007 to Jan. 15, 2009
Put on Canasa June 25, 2009, off Canasa on June 30th 2009.
*Can't take Asacol, Allergic to Remicade, odd reactions to Canasa went backwards a bit.
*Started minor flare in mid June 2009 but VERY minor. :( Ended Aug. 21, 2009. :D

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 3/15/2010 11:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been on it for the past 2 1/2 years. Was in remission for nearly 2 years (have been mildly flaring for the past 6 months - can't seem to shake it).

I was on a very low dose (75mgs) for the first 2 years but have increased my dosage to 175mgs after my latest flare.

I would say try it as it seemed to work for me (well for 2 years anyways!).

Good luck,

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/30/2013 11:39 AM (GMT -7)   
im 20 and i'v been diagnosed with uc when i was 18, i'v been taking prednisolone 5mg a day and asacol 800mg x 3 day. 1 month ago i had a flare up so i was in hospital for 10 days and they gave me infusion infliximab which gave me a good result but its getting worse again. im still on prednisolone 30mg a day and asacol 400mg x 3 and azathioprine 75mg a day, been taking it for a week now and i dont know what to do ? shall i wait bit more ? i still go to the toilet about 8 times a day and have bloody diarrhea? please some help?

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 7/5/2013 7:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Think so. Been on it 3 years, one flare which lasted a few weeks in all that time, a few little bits here and there but nothing compared to three years ago

125mg Azathioprine. 4 x 500mg Pentasa twice a day
Diagnosed March 2010. mild flare since Jan 2013 but still enjoying life
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