Imuran and side effects, what to do?

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/24/2007 2:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey all,
I've been taking imuran for a while now and it's been great.  I'm starting to experience some side effects related to the meds though and am worried.  My dr says he doesn't want to alter the dosage b/c he doesn't want me to flare, but really has no other advice to help with the side effects I'm experiencing.  I've read a little and it says to report it to your dr, yet that doesn't really do anything.  So I'm wondering if anyone has had these experiences, what you did, if you have any recommendations? etc.? 
Side effects (that are really bothering me)
insomnia (having a hard time sleeping and/or sleeping thouroughly (don't know if it's related to the med))
bruising (i think this is happening, b/c i've gotten a lot more bruises from non stressful activities or 'mystery bruises)
pain in the upper right part of my abdomen (the dr said this was b/c air was getting in the hepatic flux, he's never referenced the meds and this pain comes and goes and can be really painful)
Thanks so much for your assistance.  Hope everyone takes care out there!
ps-can email directly if you'd like mudd(underscore)grrl78(at)yahoo(dot)com
Dx UC - Nov 2004 (symptoms started Feb 2004)
Meds - Imuran (Azathioprine), oral BC, need to get on the vitamin train.
Previous meds - colazal, asacol (both stopped working after a short period of time, also had nephritis b/c of the asacol and now have stage I kidney failure), prednisone

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 528
   Posted 10/24/2007 4:00 PM (GMT -6)   
how much are you on? maybe you could decrease the dose as opposed to actualy getting off it if you are on more than you need to be on???
also, how long have you been on it? sometimes the side effects pass. for example, I got headaches in the beginning, but never now.
I think some of your side effects are odd (side ache, for example) but others are par for the course, as far as I can tell. specifically, I think that bruising more easily just comes with the territory. I stubbed my toe over the weekend, and even though it didn't hurt much it looked unbelievably bad for a few days, and yes I do have the ocasional mystery bruise, for sure. also, I think that tiring more easily is part of it. having said that, my GI says that you may get tired more easily but that he doesn't want me feeling always exhausted, so maybe ask yourself what the tiredness is. with me, I definitely need a solid 8 hours of sleep, but during the day I feel ok. I have just noticed that in the evening I run out of steam more quickly than my fiance.
Pancolitis dx 3/07
*12 Asacol/day
*150mg Imuran/day (steroid dependent)
Various vitamins, probiotics, fish oil.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 169
   Posted 10/24/2007 4:02 PM (GMT -6)   

I have experienced much more fatigue on the Imuran.  I recently started taking it in the evening (because I also have trouble sleeping) but it doesn't seem to do much.  I also have occassional headaches that I take Tylenol for.  Not sure if they are from the Imuran or not.  I also take Tylenol PM once in a while to help me fall asleep. 

The bruising would be worth checking out with your doctor.  Though not likely, that could be a sign of something more serious.

Dx Left-sided UC Dec. 2006
Azathioprine (Imuran) 125mg/day
Prednisone 5mg/day (trying to taper-started at 60 6/1)
Lialda 4/day
Multivitamin, B complex vit., fish oil, calcium, fiber supplement, probiotic

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 10/24/2007 4:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I get easy bruising too and brought it up to my GI yesterday. He told me that all my blood is normal but just to keep an eye on it. I too will have these mystery bruises and it takes a few weeks for it to go away. I too had headaches in the beginning but after a few weeks they went away. How long have you been on this?
Left sided Uc -'92 - Colazal, Canasa, 6mp, Prilosec, Biotin, Forvia
Allergies - Singulair, Allegra, Astelin(got the script - just haven't tried it yet!)
Secondary Reynauds Syndrome - '04 - Norvasc
Fibromyalgia - '06 
@--->--Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC--<---@


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 10/24/2007 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I have noticed a few mystery bruises as well as headaches. The fatigue was helped by taking imuran in the evening. before i was taking it in the morning and i would feel as though i was going to pass our within a few hours. When i had pain in the upper right he started running a battery of tests. I'll let you know what they find.

It so hard to tell with this disease what is the UC and what is the meds. Oh the joy of medications
Kelly, 29

Left sided UC diagnosed 1/98 age 19, Pan colitis diagnosed 1/07
Currently on 4x3 Asacol, Rowasa every other night, 15 mg pred. until immuran kicks in...
75mg Imuran starting 8/23/07---bumped to 100mg 10/8/07
Prontonix once daily for acid reflux, zofran twice daily for nausea

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 10/24/2007 9:48 PM (GMT -6)   
on 150mg of Imuran myself...also take it at night as i was getting very tired when taking it in the morning. i also bruise VERY easily and have headaches a lot...seems like, as above, its about symptom management....tylenol when needed etc.
interestingly, while i don't have left-sided pain, what i do have a lot of is left-sided numbness in my abdomen. told my MD-- she looked fairly unfazed (what else is new)

30 y/o
diagnosed 1995 w. UC
150 mg Imuran
2nd dose of Remicade
prednisone 20 mg..tapering off
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