Soon to start Azathioprine, a little worried...

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Hello everyone, 

I've had Ulcerative Colitis for a few years now, I was doing ok on Mezavant XL until last year when I had my worst flare up ever that put me in hospital. I was on steroids through an iv and was sent home on oral prednisolone.

They eventually worked after about 5 weeks & I started feeling better. Ive been ok now since February, but all of a sudden I've got a mild flare up again. I've been having Colifoam Enemas for the last week to try and stop the flare up in its tracks. I think its too early to say if anythings really happening. I'm supposed to have them for another week & see how things go. 

If by next week I'm no better I'm gonna have to have another go of oral prednisolone. Except this time I'm going to be taken off my Mezavant XL & go onto Azathioprine. I'm a little worried because last time I talked about it with my doctor he said it is a 50/50 wether I respond well to it. The list of possible side effects is quite something as well, weakening of the immune system, a possibility of a couple types of cancer, nausea & vomiting etc and on top of that it apparently takes about 10-12 weeks to do anything ...if it does anything at all

I'd like some advice please off anyone who has been/is on on Azathioprine, what its like, how bad is it, is it worth the risks basically sad

Thanks in advance

Andy

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  • Posted

    Hi Andy, 

    I've been on Azathioprine since March/April this year having switched from Cyclophosphamide to it and I'm taking Prednisolone as well. So far I haven't seen any side effects at all, no nausea or vomiting or anything really. My Doc told me to cover up in the sun and having Googled it the general advice is to always wear high protection sun cream as it carries an increased risk of skin cancer.

    It is designed to weaken immune systems I think, certainly that's why I take it but I imagine you will have regular blood tests & if your white cells get too low your Doc can adjust the dosage. Mine has dropped too low in recent weeks so I only take it on alternate days now and it seems to be holding steady.

    Good luck and I hope it works for you smile

    Lynn

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    • Posted

      Hi lynn, thanks for the reply

      its good to hear youve been fine on it, hopefuly i will be the same

      one question though, does it actually take a really long time to start working..?

      Andy

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  • Posted

    Hi Andy,

    The short answer is I don't really know! Because I switched from something else the Azathiprine just carried on the work of the previous drug. My white cell count didn't suddenly increase though so I would have thought it took effect within a few days. Sorry i can't really answer this one so I hope someone else can.

    Lynn

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