Back in 2007 I was in the middle of roller coaster rides of flare ups followed by brief periods where things were going ok. I had recently been diagnosed with osteoperosis – softening of the bones. Osteoperosis is associated with ulcerative colitis among other things probably due to mal-absorption of minerals along with treatment with steroids. The Dr. advised me that he wasn’t going to give me any more steroids and recommended that I go on 6-MP. He said that he has had a lot of patients who have used it successfully. Although, I was currently tapering off steroids, we would start 6-MP because it can take several weeks to take affect. BTW, in case you did not know, 6-MP is an immunomodulator – that is, it suppresses your immune system so that your own immune cells will stop attacking the lining of your colon. So, I thought, well ok, if this works, then I can stop all this other stuff. The Dr. also informed me that I would need to come in for regular blood work to ensure this stuff wasn’t destroying my liver. So, I got my prescription filled and started taking it. For the first two weeks, everything seemed fine. Suddenly, I began having a sore throat and fever. Coincidentally, two of my children had strep throat so I figured that I must have caught that so I went to my regular GP and got checked – negative but he gave me anti biotics just in case since my kids had positive cases and I was on this immune suppressor. Meanwhile, in the morning, I would feel a little better but by the afternoons, I was spiking a fever and feeling weak. Every day the fever was getting higher until one day it was over 104 so my wife is freaking out and making me get in a cool tub. She’s calling my GI specialist and finally he said to stop taking it. Well, after a couple of days I got better so the Dr and I talked about it and we decided to stay off 6-MP for two weeks and make sure no one at the house is sick and we’ll try it again. Two weeks later, upon re-challenging with a single dose, I was sick again 6 hours after taking the pill – this time, in addition to the high fever, I also had bad joint pain. So, my advice to anyone who is thinking of going on this drug, do a little bit of research first and then weigh the cost/benefit. if you google it, you’ll see that there’s all kinds of heinous side effects and if you’re unlucky like I was, it can also make you very ill. Now when I go to the doctor and get asked if I have any allergies – I make sure 6-MP is on that list.
UC patient since 2002.