Swapping from Aza to Cellcept

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I have Churg-Strauss syndrome and after a year on steroids I relapsed (7.5mg at that point) and after hospitalisation was put on Azathioprine. Not good. I managed 3 weeks but it was at the point where even when I dropped to 50mg of AZA I was being sick for hours on end evey day. So my consultant swappd me to Mycophenalate Mofetil (CellCept) and I have been on it for just under 2 weeks. I feel SO much better than I have felt in forever, but my most recent blood tests showed an elevated ALT serum of 94.

I'm wondering if this is possibly just damage left from the build up of Aza rather than new damage from the CellCept. But I really have no idea how long it takes for Aza to clear out of your system (I understand it is more complicated than just the half life, but I am no chemist).

Anyone know anything about this? I'd really like to avoid changing from a drug that is makng me feel so much better!

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  • Posted

    Hi Sophie,

    I am also taking Aza since November 2016 against Leucocytoclastic Vasculitis. I was sick every morning when taking 75mg but I reduced to 50 mg. I can stand 50 mg pretty well but I am sorry to read that you can't. I don't know about the side effects of Mycophenalate Mofetil but I can tell you that my kidneys have been working differently exactly since the time I have been taking Aza. I had a blood and urine tested before starting the treatment (beautiful results) and since then I get a whole blood picture every month as well as urine investigation. Each time since december the lab found blood in the urine, nothing to worry about at this time says the immunologist. A small malfunction of the kidneys that is listed as one of the side effects of Aza. To me it means that one the side effects of Aza showed after a couple of weeks of starting with Aza. 

    Now that I read your post I can see that you experience some changes in your liver results. How regular were your blood test? Do you have lab results of your last month of Aza?

    About AZA clearing out of your system it can take a couple of months. I know this because the immulogist says I would need to wait a few months after the end of the treatment for my system to clear out and have a chance to get a normal pregnancy. I also recalled that I said one should wait at least 6 weeks to be able to see the positive effects of Aza.

    Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Hi Alex,

      I have chronic continuous urticarial vasculitis.

      I was also on Aza. It made me very nauseous and immobiliuzed me but it worked.

      My blood tests were similar to yours etc..i.e. bad effect on my kindnies so along with me complaining ... the immunologist stopped the Aza &  put me on CellCept.

      CellCept's side effects aren't as bad as AZA  & are tollerable but CellCept doesn't work.

      However under the Australian Governments PBS regulations I have to be on either Aza or Cellcept for at least 3 months and be sure they are unsuitable for me before the immunologist can prescribe rituximab.

      Predislone in high dosages works for me but as everybody knows it also has side effects..




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