Azathioprine Reviews

Have you taken Azathioprine to treat your colitis?

A common brand name for this medication is “Imuran® or Azasan®”

If you’re answer is “yes”, please click the review button below and add your review of your experience. There’s alot of UC’ers who are wondering how other’s like you have done with the medication.

Here is an informational page from the National Institute of Health – azathioprine page

Copied from wikipedia:

Azathioprine (INN, /ˌæzəˈθaɪɵpriːn/, abbreviated AZA) is an immunosuppressive drug used in organ transplantation and autoimmune diseases and belongs to the chemical class of purine analogues.[1] Synthesized originally as a cancer drug and a prodrug for mercaptopurine in 1957, it has been widely used as an immunosuppressant for more than 50 years.

A few stories from writers on the site who have used azathioprine (also called Imuran):

Search Side Effects Below:

CLICK HERE to add any side-effects you’ve experienced.

Medication
Age
Side Effects
Other Meds
Date
Azathioprine (Imuran)
52
Burning up feeling, head was very hot but body cold, uncontrollable shivering, dizzy, achy...
Prednisone
November 12, 2017
Azathioprine (Imuran)
47
Faint voice in evening like if super tired
headaches
fever
More bronchites in winter
Pentesa
June 14, 2017
Azathioprine (Imuran)
50
severe joint aches, chills, fever
April 24, 2017
Azathioprine (Imuran)
54
Nausea, insomnia, body feels warm
Asacol
March 3, 2017
Azathioprine (Imuran)
18
dry mouth, dry eyes, dry mucous membranes
Eltroxin, Topzole, Sertra
February 28, 2017
Azathioprine (Imuran)
19
Tearful and mood swings
Had contraceptive injection
February 23, 2017
Azathioprine (Imuran)
32
Tiredness, insomnia, headaches and migraines,mood swings,feeling weak all the time but it has sorted my uc symptoms out for now,(touch wood)
November 12, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
18
Insomnia
Mezavant
October 31, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
32
Pharmacological pancytopenia (my bone marrow stopped working: no red cells, nothing); Hemoglobine dropped to 4.9! , two blood tranfussions after, in the hospital 3 weeks. Stop taking the pills, bone marrow started to work again.
Mesalamine
October 26, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
48
Liver bloods (ALT's) went very high so had to discontinue with Azathioprine
Prednisolone - 40mg tapering down to 0 by 5mg each week
October 25, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
62
Was prescribed Azathioprine, 200 mg a day a little over two months ago. I just recently started having dark urine, itchy skin, rashes. My doctor told me yesterday my liver enzymes have increased almost 10 fold. She took me off this med immediately.
Prednisone, Mesalamine
October 14, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
28
I switched to Azathioprine after 2.5 months of Prednisone. The first 2 weeks were horrible because of severe nausea and stomach ache. I did a CBC a month later and there was a drop in both red and white blood cells plus hemoglobin. My period was also a week late that first month. It's been 2 months now and no nausea or stomach pain but I have not repeated the CBC yet. There is definitely noticeable hair loss and increase in split ends.
Iron supplement, Vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin D, Omega 3
October 12, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
18
flu like symptoms, extreme exhaustion ,high temperature, swollen throat, dizziness
mezalazine
October 5, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
30
After 1 week of Azoron tablet 100 MG, i got severe numbness in head and also headache....Now it is almost 3 months of having Azoron tablet....once in a 2 days headache on and off....but numbness still persists....
September 27, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
35
Headaches
Nausea
Rash
Hair loss
Mezavant
September 26, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
45
None so far, been taking for about 3 months, all UC symptoms gone with this medication! Although, I have to remain on the Lialda as well.
Lialda 4 per day. Esomeprozole
September 26, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
18
This medication increased mood swings and emotional panic attacks.
I was also taking Humira and omeprazole
September 23, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
59
Took this drug for three weeks and hair started breaking and falling out which was rather distressing. Then I had severe flu symptoms of fever, aching limbs and joints for about 4 days. Called my consultant who advised me to stop taking it immediately and to start Mercaptopurin. Ended up with pancreatitis! Have now been offered Humira but it sounds just as awful!
Pentasa suppositories and granular sachets.
September 15, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
43
None - I'm far from being out of the woods so-to-speak but i have not experienced any side effects from when the get go.
I started azathioprine as a 100mg in the morning & then 75mg additional which I am on at night so...175mg a day for about a year. Weekly blood tests followed by monthly now limited to when I visit my specialist & never shown any signs of weirdness other than UC symptoms. They say this drug is slow burner.
Prednisone. Then...
Goliumab. Then & now...
Entyvio. (Feel better now than I have in 4 years)!
September 13, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
55
None. After 22yrs & diagnoised crohns. IMPORTANT do regular bood tests & be good to your liver!
Lialda
September 9, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
42
I started this medication with one tablet a day and increased to two after a few days, an hour after taking my first dose of two tablets, I got extremely sick. Vomiting like I never did before and a serious dose of the scuts. I was so sick that I asked my wife to stay with me as I thought I might choke on my own puke. Needless to say, I stopped that medication immediately. I tried it again a few years later and the same thing happened.
No
August 27, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
31
Headaches
Remicade (7 weeks since last infusion), uceris every other day, Wellbutrin, armour.
August 27, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
26
Immune system depressed enough to get C diff.
Apriso, Uceris
August 19, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
54
Very tired for first 2 days after injection, lack of energy and flu like symptoms, chills, dragging myself to bed
some probiotics, glutamine
August 15, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
61
Joint ache
Asacol
August 15, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
26
Fatigue, chemical pee
August 12, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
23
Extreme vomiting so I was only on it for a couple of days.
Prednisolone
August 11, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
49
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, total lethagy/having to ly down and rest(1-2hrs), abdominal pain. These side effects only started after i'd been taking 125mg for 5mths (sept2015-jan2016) i experienced no side effects during first 5months.
prednisone / pentasa
August 9, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
41
Pancreatitis
Lialda, 4 tablets,day
August 8, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
77
First month was fine. Second month and I started to get flushed and then broke into a sweat an hour after taking the pills. Next came nausea and weakness. This lasted about 2 hours. Blood test second month showed high liver enzymes. Dr had me stop the med but stay on apricot and Canada suppositories. I have been in remission almost 3 months now, 3 weeks of that on only the apriso and canasa.
Apriso and canasa suppositories
August 8, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
61
Vertigo
Nausea
Remicade
Prednisone
July 30, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
50
Fever
Entyvio
July 29, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
40
Fine at first (3-6 months), then became very lethargic and no skin colour (grey). Wasn't improving BMs then developed very bad skin rash. Consultant advised coming off them.
Pentasa
July 29, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
39
Severe bleeding, flare up
Salofalk
July 28, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
38
racing heartbeat
no
July 28, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
53
Elevated liver enzymes
No
July 28, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
24
Mediaction worked perfectly for me until a few months in when I started vomiting 4 hours after taking it- you could set your watch by it. I stopped the medication and saw my GP who did some liver function tests and they were off the charts, had to wait a few months for them to return to normal. Didn't try Aza again!
Probably prednisolone
July 27, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
47
Nausea at first, subsided after only a month - otherwise - nothing
July 27, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
29
Sensitive teeth.
Weight gain.
Bad mood swings.
Pentasa
Azathiaprine
July 27, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
70
knee and leg soreness weakness
July 27, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
51
According to my doctor, I metabolize the "good' part not as well as the "bad" part of the med so my white count goes crazy and he has to adjust the dosage.
Colazol
July 27, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
20
Bradycardia
Preventricular contractions
Vomiting
Remicade
July 23, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
53
Cancer.
Asacol, Bentyl, Tylenol #3, Rowasa.
July 22, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
23
Was fine for the first 6 weeks but as the medication started to kick in (takes some time) I experienced severe nausea, vomitting and exhaustion. This would last for hours then finally go away. I changed the the time I would take it to see if that helped but the exact same thing happened. Had to stop taking it as the side effects were too much for me.
Salofalk granules 1.5mg
July 20, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
32
Pancreatitis
July 20, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
45
No side effects so far, low dosage, and not been a month yet, however all UC symptoms seem to be gone!
Lialda, 4 per day
July 17, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
45
Hair thinning, felt tired the first month
Salofalk
July 17, 2016
Azathioprine (Imuran)
29
The nausea experienced with this drug was almost debilitating. Nothing helped ease the discomfort. It also gave me ridiculous heartburn. I'd never experienced heartburn before starting this drug. After 6 weeks, I ended up coming off of it as my liver numbers were really elevated. The nausea went away as did the heartburn.
Remicade and Prednisone
July 17, 2016

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Azathioprine immunosuppresive medication used to treat autoimmune disease SKU UPC Model

Nov 19, 2017 by Pavlina
City/country:: Prague, Czech Republic 

I've been on Imuran for a year, no side effects. Also no flares since then. My doctor has prescribed it to me because I've been on steroids two times in three years and she thinks they're more harmful than Imuran. Plus the disease has spread to the whole colon. My liver is doing fine for now. Before then I was on Pentasa, also no side effects.


Azathioprine

Jun 08, 2017 by Larena Williams
City/country:: Minneapolis, MN 

I don't feel like a benefited at all from azathioprine . I was stopped and tried humira started to build antibodies and THEN azathioprine helped to lower the antibodies and my humira drug level is now where it should be . So WITH Humira ill give it 4stars without 1star. I just don't see why they use it because I honestly do not feel like it helps and I was on It alone for years . If I ever have to stop Humira I wouldn't continue to take it . And I don't know why some many doctors prescribe it for UC /Crohns when its NOT approved for these 2 diseases and I highly doubt it'll ever be .


Dec 04, 2016 by Maria
City/country:: Irwin USA 

I have been on this medication imuran for 4 months. It seems to help with my UC, however I really didnt start til just recently helping. It takes 4 to 6 months to adjust. I am also on remicade. I had joint pain and insomnia for a little.


Imuran/Azathioprine

Nov 26, 2016 by Sandra Hallett
City/country:: Massachusetts, USA 

Have been taking Azathioprine for many years. In 2016 doc cut back from 150mg to 100 mg daily. Began a flare within days. Back to 150mg within a week but flare continued for 5 months.
Finally, after stopping all dairy, yogurts etc began to slow. Colonoscopy showed worsening U.C. And now Crohn's as well. Had tried and stopped Uceris orally and foam during flare with no change.
After colonoscopy continued Azathioprine 150 mg and added Liada 2 per day.
Still in remission but severe joint pain and itching, dry skin. Not a problem as life altering flare is gone for now and, in my 70's, expect the body to change! Diagnosed in my 50's and have a close family member with complete ileostomy so I feel lucky!


So far so good

Sep 23, 2016 by John
City/country:: Hong Kong 

For me this stuff has been working great. Before I started this I had severe inflammation for almost a year. 4 months after upping my dosage to 150mg I had a colonoscopy which showed only mild inflammation. I haven't had any bleeding since I started this stuff in early 2015. Liver & kidneys all doing fine per regular blood work.


Azathioprine

May 23, 2016 by Connie
City/country:: Pleasant Hill/USA 

I give Azathioprine one star only because I had a toxic reaction to it. Initially (first 2 months of being on 50 mg), I had NO side effects whatsoever. But after those 2 months, my lab work showed that I had developed drug-induced hepatitis. My liver enzymes were 4x normal. Also, my white blood cell count dropped into abnormal levels. My doctor took me off the drug immediately.


Imuran-Give it time

May 18, 2016 by Josh Byrum
City/country:: Roanoke/VA 

I'm on 150mg of Imuran. It took approximately 10 weeks for the dose to kick in. Which is my biggest advice when starting Imuran....GIVE IT TIME!

It is textbook knowledge that this medication can take 3 months plus to take effect.

Although at 8 weeks my GI said it probably would not work, I held on and...2 weeks after that... wa-BAM! ka-Zam! Shizzz-Zam! I woke up on a brisk Monday morning, and it was a night and day difference, and within 72 hours I was out of a 2 month flare and back to normal.


Azathioprine review

Feb 04, 2016 by Kaylea
City/country:: Canada 

Unsure if this worked for me. I was also diagnosed with C-diff 3 weeks after starting this medication. Within 5 days of starting medication for C-diff, my symptoms I had been fighting for a year alleviated to a remissive state. I took Azathioprine for 8 months, experienced a bit of joint pain and a lot of hair loss. I weaned off this medication gradually over 2 months. I have been okay, not a flare, a spot of bleeding after my wisdom teeth came out and was on 3 courses of antibiotics for dry socket. I don't want to go back on this drug, however, I don't know yet if it helped me obtain remission. I really feel that C-diff in IBD is not checked for enough. My first culture came back negative (done in the community through culture sample) but my GI did a colonoscopy again and took a sample that came back positive.


Azathioprine

Jan 08, 2016 by Alan Lancaster
City/country:: Leeds / UK 

I found Azathioprine difficult to start off with, it took me about 4 months to get used to it. I had stomach pains and sickness every day but it eased as time went on.

I am very tired all the time since I started on Azathioprine and my pharmacist thinks my fatigue might be related to it.

I can't say I feel any benefit from it, I still get flare ups and I still have to go! a number of times a day.

I am into my 3rd year of it and my doctor won't consider taking me off it for at least another two years (I asked 6 months ago). He told me treatment was for 7 years when he started me on it in Jan 2013.


azathrioprine

Jan 06, 2016 by lucky
City/country:: Birmingham 

Started taking aza wid pred foam.n iron tabs was doing ok.3wks later stop takin pred foam n iron tabs took aza only.started vomiting had fever etc.took myself off it.doc told me take it again i wouldnt i lost 9lb in 4wks on it.


Luckily off of Imuran!

Oct 19, 2015 by Laura
City/country:: Chatsworth 

I am a 30 yrs old woman. I was diagnosed when I was 23. I had been on Imuran for around five years. My doctor did not honestly discuss the side effects with me. I should have done the research but figured he would let me know if there was anything of note.
I want to get pregnant and in Canada they very strongly do not support taking the medication during pregnancy as there are no studies into its effects during pregnancy, and afterwards.
I was anxious to come off but I have been so happy after stopping the medication. I started a Pentasa suppository to offset, and I am not in a flare up.
I started reading up on Imuran and was not so happy about the side effects. Definitely will not get back on it after my pregnancy. I would definitely refuse even if my doctor pressed.


Sep 21, 2015 by Kelly
City/country:: Baltimore, MD 

I am a 27 year old female and was diagnosed with proctitis March of 2014. I was successfully brought into remission at that time with Canasa suppositories and Asacol HD, and maintained remission with Apriso. Being dumb (and poor) I stopped taking Apriso this past January and started to flare in March; I waited to see my GI and when I did he doubled my dose of Apriso and prescribed me prednisone (40mg on a taper schedule) which had absolutely zero effect on me. Being concerned that pred wasn't working, I was scoped and we found that my inflammation and ulcers had spread all the way to the middle of my transverse colon. My GI put me on Rowasa enemas and 100mg Azathioprine. The first week I took Aza I felt extremely tired but chalked it up to my anemia due to the constant bleeding. The second week taking it is when the nausea and vomiting started; I took the two 50mg tablets with a full breakfast meal, and about 30 mins later the indigestion, heartburn and nausea would start. An hour or so later I began to vomit until I had nothing left in my stomach and would feel sick the rest of the day. I let this continue for a week (making mad dashes at work to get sick - I think half of my office thinks I'm pregnant!) and talked to my GI who suggested splitting the dose which did not stop the vomiting. Aside from feeling sick (and some hair loss), in this two week period Aza had 95% cleared up my bleeding and I was finally having solid BMs 2-3x a day! After bloodwork was done and we confirmed that it was not pancreatitis, we determined that I was having an allergic reaction and that staying on this was not feasible due to the side effects. I'm really frustrated because it did work for me, and a lot sooner than they say. I haven't taken it in 3 days and still feel good, however not sure how long this will last so starting the process of getting on Humira. My hope is that I continue to feel good, and get to full remission on Asacol and a clean diet. All in all, this drug worked for me and I would still be taking it if I could tolerate the side effects. Don't get caught up in the negative reviews - talk to your doctor and decide what's best for you not in comparison with others!


Doing well and pregnant again

Sep 07, 2015 by Sanne
City/country:: Netherlands 

I was put on this drug about 18 months ago, because the Salofalk and Budesonid weren't working (enough), they eased my symptoms a little, but after having an inflamed colon for 4 years... it was time for something else!

I did have nausea in the morning for a few months, and I have a bit of acne, but that's it! Of course i'd much rather have a bit of acne over feeling so extremely sick with colitis.
After a while I was able to lower the dosis of Salofalk, and cut out the budesonid completely. Things were going so well, my doctor told me it was safe to get pregnant again. So we got busy ;-) and I'm now 23 weeks along with my second daughter, six years after I had my first.

Azathioprine was definitely a success for me. I am trying to be very careful with sun exposure, I cover up and wear sun cream on my face and hands.


Worked, couldn't handle side effects

Sep 04, 2015 by Kelly
City/country:: Maryland 

I am a 26 year old female and was diagnosed with proctitis March of 2014. I was successfully brought into remission at that time with Canasa suppositories and Asacol HD, and maintained remission with Apriso. Being dumb (and poor) I stopped taking Apriso this past January and started to flare in March; I waited to see my GI and when I did he doubled my dose of Apriso and prescribed me prednisone (40mg on a taper schedule) which had absolutely zero effect on me. Being concerned that pred wasn't working, I was scoped and we found that my inflammation and ulcers had spread all the way to the middle of my transverse colon. My GI put me on Rowasa enemas and 100mg Azathioprine. The first week I took Aza I felt extremely tired but chalked it up to my anemia due to the constant bleeding. The second week taking it is when the nausea and vomiting started; I took the two 50mg tablets with a full breakfast meal, and about 30 mins later the indigestion, heartburn and nausea would start. And hour or so later I began to vomit until I had nothing left in my stomach and would feel sick the rest of the day. I let this continue for a week (making mad dashes at work to get sick - I think half of my office thinks I'm pregnant!) and talked to my GI who suggested splitting the dose which did not stop the vomiting. Aside from feeling sick, in this two week period Aza had 95% cleared up my bleeding and I was finally having solid BMs 2-3x a day! After bloodwork was done and we confirmed that it was not pancreatitis, we determined that I was having an allergic reaction and that staying on this was not feasible due to the side effects. I'm really frustrated because it did work for me, and a lot sooner than they say. I haven't taken it in 3 days and still feel good, however not sure how long this will last so starting the process of getting on Humira. My hope is that I continue to feel good, and get to full remission on Asacol and a clean diet. All in all, this drug worked for me and I would still be taking it if I could tolerate the side effects. Don't get caught up in the negative reviews - talk to your doctor and decide what's best for you not in comparison with others!


Imuran as maintenance

Mar 10, 2015 by Katie M
City/country:: UK 

I've had UC for around 7 years, to begin with I was put on 2.4g of Asacol as a maintenance dosage, after about 18 months of unsettled symptoms my specialist added 75mg of Azathioprine/Imuran.
I've been really lucky and have, in the last five years, experienced no noticeable side effects.
I do have to have my flu jab each winter and so I've not had a proper cold in years I just sniffle from November to March! Whether that is down to the flu jab protecting me from the worst germs or the Azathioprine suppresses the usual immune responses (coughs, sore throats etc.). I have my three-monthly blood tests to check for pancreatic issues, but so far so good.
My main concern is the recent-ish discovery of a link between Azathioprine and the effects of sun exposure. I received a letter advising me to wear sunblock and cover up at all times, then counteract this by taking vitamin D supplements! I guess I'm pretty laid back on this, I wear sunscreen and make sure not to burn, but it's quite scary to be told that this probably isn't enough! Equally I don't want to inflict rickets on myself by avoiding the sun completely, but maybe I'm being naive!
I've had a few flares, but all relatively mild, if fairly long-winded! Generally treated with Predfoam, after my first ever flare at diagnosis I avoid prednisolone tablets whenever possible. I never thought I'd prefer the 'topical' remedies for this disease over the 'systemic' ones!!


immuran

Mar 09, 2015 by cindy
City/country:: Heber usa 

I was on azathioprine for fourteen yrs to treat a severe case, nearly dead, of eosinophilic faciitis, from cheeks to toes, along with high doses of prednisone and other drugs. I'm June of 2014, I had aquired several squamous cell cancer areas . And lost 45 lbs in 3 months. I was taken off the Imuran because of using it so long, this was one of the side effects. While I did take this drug, I would get nauseous for about 30mins, tired, felt muscle weakness. It did save my life and side effects are nothing compared to living.


fed up with meds

Feb 26, 2015 by Ellen mccarty
City/country:: Northern Ireland 

I stopped smoking in 1991 and within 6 months I was diagnosed with uc . It wasn't too bad at the start ,but over the years has got progressively worse . Started on asacol then salazapiren with animas, now I'm on mezevent with 150g of azathioprine Also prednisone at different times over years . Azathioprine was put up to 150g from 100g because uc effected my liver, since the taking 150g my blood count is going down and I have been bleeding from the gums so I am very concerned about taking these cancer causing drugs . I have also been very sick taking them and then was given anti sickness tablets . I feel I would be better smoking than live like this so before starting on the fags again I'm going to try e.cigs and will let you know how I get on ..


Imuran Works...After a While

Feb 04, 2015 by Cristina
City/country:: Syracuse 

I started taking imuran after over a year long flare that was not helped by prednisone. It took 3 months to kick in, but with 100 mg/day, I feel better than I have in a long time. The only side effect I've noticed is that my fingers are always really cold, but I'll take cold fingers over a flare any day :)


It can work - even if it doesn't at first

Aug 30, 2014 by Aimz
City/country:: UK 

Aza helped me ween off steriods in what was my second major flare. It kept me well and out of a flare for 1.5 years and then I had to stop taking it as I started to itch all over uncontrollably when they increased my dose to 75/100mg. I also had a mucoseal develop in my mouth (like a large ulcer) which are both side effects that show you are allergic to the medication. I was obviously allergic at higher doses. Came off Aza as instructed and 2-3 months later had a massive flare and ended up in hospital again. Talk of major surgery as the pred wasn't even doing its job for me and I just couldn't get out of the flare. Before I opted for what seemed like my only hope of surgery I decided with my Dr to try Aza again at a lower than average dose for my body weight and height (I should take 100mg but obvs makes me allegic) so we opted for 50mg of Aza in combination with another drug called Allopurinol. I have taken this comination, along with Asacol as well for almost 2 years and have remained flare free and almost side effect free. I do still get the itchy feeling from time to time but it is no where near as awful as before. When I started on Aza originally I did loose quite a bit of hair, it thinned massively, and it was quite distressing, but once its in your system my hair grew back. I also felt nauseous on it the first time around, but apparently the Allopurinol that I now take with the Aza helps diminish some of Aza's side effects. I don't know the science behind them working together, but it works just fine for me at the moment. Hope it stays that way otherwise its surgery! If you have had no look with Aza on its own, ask to try it with another drug called Allopurinol - it worked for me and saved me from surgery, for the time being anyway.


Terrible!

Jul 29, 2014 by Megan
City/country:: Williamsburg, VA 

In the midst of a terrible flare up I was put on Imuran. It was horrible. It didn't work for me at all. Instead I had night sweats and a general unwell feeling on top of my UC symptoms. I landed in the hospital with C Diff and a strange "pox" like rash. I had two sets of opinions. One doctor urged me to never use it again and felt that the "pox" was a direct result of the Imuran. The infectious disease doctor felt that the Imuran lowered my immune system so much that I caught some strange form of pox! We'll never know but I won't go on it again!


Worked for me

Jul 10, 2014 by Kelly
City/country:: Boston 

I have been on it for 2 years now (100mg). It worked when nothing else seemed to work for me and I could not taper prednisone at all without flaring. No major side effects. Two years of remission after being sick for almost three straight years.


not worth the side effects

Jul 09, 2014 by Heidi
City/country:: Sault/Ontario 

I was put on azathioprine while hospitalized with a bad flare (25+ BMs/day), at the same time I was put on IV prednisone. I was released from hospital with 10-12 bloody D's/ day. After six months things were still the same BM wise, I also had lost a lot of hair and felt so nauseated and sick every day. I asked to be taken off aza and pretty soon started to feel better. BMs stayed around 10/day and my hair started to grow back.

In my little city in Canada it is difficult to get a hold of a doctor to ask questions. I felt really uncomfortable taking a drug to suppress my immune system when the doc doesn't know why I have this disease or why this drug might work. Feels like Russian roulette in a way.

I really wish it would have worked for me. This disease sucks the life out of people.

Now I'm doing the "diet doesn't matter" thing. Specifically using the auto immune Paleo protocol. Bleeding is almost stopped and BMs average about 6-7/day (very seldom wake up at night to visit the bathroom). No more joint pain and lots of energy. I haven't had an 'accident' since I started this a month ago. For the last two years I was wearing diaper like pads even in my own house because I had URGENCY!


Can anyone comment on long term use of azathioprine?

Jul 09, 2014 by Rachel
City/country:: UK 

I've been on aza for about three weeks now. On a dose of 100mg per day. The only side effect I have is that I feel a little out of it sometimes but a small price to pay if it keeps me in remission. Just come out of a stubborn flare that lasted four months. Good news is that things are good now. Only one to two BM per day and super solid! Woo hoo! I never thought I would get there!

I am a little worried about the long term effects of aza as are many of you. Could those of you who have been on aza for ten years plus comment upon whether the drug is still effective for you and whether there have been any side effects after his time? Plus if any ladies out there took it throughout pregnancy, please comment upon the outcome of this as I shall be planning baby number 2 next year whilst being on it. Thanks!


Imuran

Jul 09, 2014 by Daylin
City/country:: Regina, Canada 

I was on Imuran for a six month period following the births of my children to help get things UNDER CONTROL. I flared badly during and after each of my three pregnancies. Imuran was not the answer for me as it caused intolerable joint pain. My fingers, feet, and hips were so uncomfortable that I was really unable to do anything at the end of my work day since the joints were so inflamed by 4:00. My UC was not as bad as the joint pain! I stoped using it and began on 6MP - a different immunosuppressant - and have done very well. Two years and counting with no flares! N.B. Hair loss was also a problem on Imuran. Sadly when you have thin hair to start with it is a big blow when what you do have starts to fall out in huge quantities!!!


imuaran as maintenace

Jul 08, 2014 by ashley
City/country:: Philippines 

My son started on imuran at the age of 4 now 13years old never had a problem with the drug he uses it with pret and sulfasalazine.I do wish we can stop the pret coz he is not growing anymore..


Imuran Review

Jul 08, 2014 by Anita
City/country:: Australia 

Imuran was the first medication I was prescribed once diagnosed, April 2007. I started on 50mg, got a flare 6 months later, was then put on 75mg, another flare 6 months after achieving remission, to 100mg same thing happened another flare up in 6 months then put on 125mg. I felt ok on imuran but I don't know if it was working for me and perhaps I should have been on a combination of medications to prevent relapses. After 3 months of being on 125mg imuran I was taken off the medication as my white blood cells were getting too low. So was on it for a year and 9 months.

Once changing specialist as I moved to another area. I was kept on salofalk but because I was still having yearly flares he decided to try me on imuran also, just over 2 years of being off it. I was on 125mg of imuran and 4g salofalk granules.

I didn't feel as though I had any side effects and blood tests were normal. However not sure if it works well enough for me. Having combination cut my flares from twice a year to once.
I took myself off imuran 18 months ago after being on it for a year and 10 months as I wanted to start a family. I don't find that I'm any worst being off it.


Jul 08, 2014 by jess
City/country:: Pensacola/fl/usa 

I started Imuran about 2 years ago after asacol and lialda both stopped working. I currently take imuran daily and have remicaide infusions every 4 weeks. After going into a sever flare 6 months after my daughter was born, it took 2 years to get my body to start going into remission. With my current dosage and following the scd diet I have been in complete remission for over a year with tests showing no signs of me ever having uc! Plus... fewer side effects than previous meds!


Jul 08, 2014 by El Herr
City/country:: Beaufort, Mo 

I take Imuran, Lialda and Remicade. Imuran alone did not stop my bleeding. After 2 years Remicade was added. It took over a year and now I only have occasional bleeding. I am no longer anemic and my white blood count stays extremely low. I go to the doctor later this month to, hopefully, eliminate at least one prescription.


Azathioprine working so far

Jul 08, 2014 by hammad
City/country:: Houston tx 

Azathioprine is the generic version of Imuran and its a very strong drug, it requires monitoring the body very 3 months but it has a very high success rate. I been on it from about 9 months with no side effects . The only thing is since its an immune suppressant it will make you more prone to cold and flu . As much as if i am in the park and it rains i come home with a flu. But over all i am so relieved with the disease. ....IF any one wanting to read my full story search it under "help me get off pred" thanxx


Jul 08, 2014 by Maria Nicholson
City/country:: Annapolis 

I took Imuran for about a month. I don't remember it being that helpful. What I do remember is being mildly nauseated and tired the whole time I was taking it. The sick feeling gradually became worse until one day I was vomiting bile and couldn't get off the toilet because of excessive diarrhea. I ended up in the hospital that day. I had almost blacked out and was very dehydrated. They basically pumped me with fluids until I was stable enough to go home.


Jul 08, 2014 by Brittany

I have been on azathioprine for 2 years now and it has worked wonders! I've never felt better and despite the risks, it is worth it for me.


Did not work for me

Jul 08, 2014 by Randy
City/country:: Arlington 

This was a last ditch effort to get my UC under control. I basically flared from the time I was diagnosed until my colectomy. Imuran made me feel like I had the flu, headaches, fever, fatigue, and nausea. Had to stop at three weeks due to kidney problems. I don't recall the numbers, but they got way out of spec for me. I wished it had worked because I was fighting to avoid surgery. Over that now! Good luck if you try it.


Jul 08, 2014 by justine

Took 6 Weeks to kick in, no real side effects.with remicade took me to full remission.


Imuran

Jul 07, 2014 by Tracey Albano
City/country:: Australia 

I was started on Imuran 2 years ago after unsuccessfully being treated with Prednisone and Salazopyrin. I take 8 x 500mg of that and 3 x 50mg of Imuran daily and I am finding that it is no longer as effective as it was. I still have up to 6-7 loose bowel movements a day and almost always blood in my stools. I am finding blood on my underwear daily also. I don't get a lot of cramping and pain but excessive constant wind.


Imuran exasperates me

Jul 07, 2014 by Khadija A. Malik
City/country:: Lahore, Pakistan 

I was diagnosed with UC in July 2012 and was treated with Prednisone, Pentasa and Imuran to begin with. I weaned myself off the prednisone after 3 months of taking it but continue with Pentasa and Imuran till today. I have been on both drugs for two years now and while I am in remission I have no clue what good these drugs do for me. I feel it's the supplements I take which keep me in check (I take a combination of Krill Oil, Astaxanthin and Ubiquinol and add probiotics through my diet).

I have been wanting to discontinue Imuran for over a year now but each doctor consulted has advised I stay on it. I reduced my dose of the medicine and feel no change in the way I function. The most exasperating effects of Imuran on me were hair loss and weight gain. However, the weight gain may be a side effect of Pentasa. Further, I feel that Imuran aggravates joint pain.


Not sure what it's doing

Jul 07, 2014 by Adrian
City/country:: Seattle/USA 

I was put on Azathioprine after my first severe flare up in May 2013. I'm not sure if it was the Azathioprine, the antibiotics, the Lialda, predisone or a combination but I went into remission very quickly. I was taken off the pred a couple months later. Was still on Lialda and azathioprine when another flare up started. Not if they are lessening my symptoms or doing nothing at all....? I'd like not to take anything if it's not actually doing anything.


Works for me

Jul 07, 2014 by John Cesarone
City/country:: Chicago 

I've been on azathioprine for about two years. It has worked wonders, and my colon now functions pretty much like a normal person's. No side effects, at least not yet. I know there are risks, so I try to keep vigilant with recommended tests. But for now, it is a life saver.


Jul 07, 2014 by michelle
City/country:: England 

I had taken azathioprine for 5 years. It did for 3 years keep my UC under control. Unfortunately it also strips your immune system. I came out of remission 14 months ago and started Infliximab again. This also damages your immune system. My UC is in remission but I now have Hodgkin's Lymphoma which my consultant says was possibly as a result of my lack of immunity. I am off all UC meds now as apparantly the chemotherapy will keep it in remission! I had no side effects with azathioprine.


So Far So Good

Jul 07, 2014 by Melanie
City/country:: Haddon Township 

Hello, I also can not currently speak to the long term effects good or bad as I have just started taking Imuran 3 days ago..I am taking it with Asacol and while tapering off of Pred (starting at 40MG, now at 25MG) and so far the only side effect I have had is moderate hand and toe cramps.


took immuran

Jul 07, 2014 by lindsay
City/country:: Canada 

I took it for 2 weeks. It made me incredibly sick to my stomach. I wasn't even able to tolerate water, let alone food. I dropped more weight, and was eventually taken off of it during an intense flare. GI determined I was one of the few ppl allergic to it.


Not for me

Jul 07, 2014 by Barb

My MD put me on Imuran at the same time I started Remicade. After a few weeks I felt very nauseous and it lasted for five days before I called my MD and he said to stop taking it.


not for me

Jul 07, 2014 by anni cooter
City/country:: UK portsmouth 

tried as asacol wasn't working , ended up having no flare relief.. my WBC dropped really low so I was really ill and nauseous., this resulted I'm coming off it..
obviously side effects differ from person to person so there's no reason not to give it a go.


Azathioprine

Jul 07, 2014 by Amy
City/country:: Rock Hill/USA 

I was diagnosed in 2007. My doctor started me off with Asacol, but it did not help and I lost my hair in handfuls with that one. He switched me to Azathioprine next, and it took about a month to stop my flare. I was symptom free over a year after that. I have had flares now and again and my dosage has been raised, but over all it has been effective for me. I have not noticed any side effects with it. Unfortunately for me, the dosage needed to be raised every few years and I have reached the limit my body will tolerate (as blood test results indicated) . I worry about the long term issues with it, so I am now exploring other alternatives. I'm still taking it with Probiotics and I am doing well. I don't think I'm totally in remission, but I am not bleeding! My goal is to improve my diet and to get weaned from the Azathioprine completely. Good luck friends!


Azathioprine

Jul 07, 2014 by Eileen
City/country:: Australia 

Having minimal side effects and good results! Good luck to all :-)


Early days

Jul 07, 2014 by Katherine
City/country:: London, UK 

Started taking it a few weeks ago as new maintenance medication as i am in a stubborn flare. It takes a few months to kick in, by when, hopefullymy flare will be under control. I am also on infliximab/remicade, mezavant/mesalazine, and 40mgpd Pred (after 100mgpd in hospital two weeks ago to try and control the flare). I can't comment on its effectiveness long term but i was warned about some horrific side effects that might affect me straight away. My consultant told me i might feel like death with sickness, but that if i was in any doubt about whether i would live or die, i should keep taking it! Thankfully i seem to be tolerating it well. I've had numbness in my left foot and right arm but this may be related to the UC not the drugs. I don't sleep but thats probably the UC and steroids. I have my first blood test tomorrow to see if it is affecting my blood cell count and liver function. Fingers crossed.


Azathioprine

Jul 07, 2014 by Fay
City/country:: Gold Coast, Australia 

Didn't suit me, started with small dose along with my usual meds but started getting tingling sensation in hands. They upped it to half the dose they were trying to get me on more but had to stop as I was throwing up with it. Fuzzy feeling and a sense of "not quite with it"


3.1 5.0 46 46 I've been on Imuran for a year, no side effects. Also no flares since then. My doctor has prescribed it to me because I've been on steroids two times in three years and she thinks Azathioprine

16 Responses to Azathioprine Reviews

  1. Rachel July 7, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    Been taking azathioprine for about 3 weeks now. The only side effect I’ve had is feeling a little tired and a little dizzy and a bit spaces out at times. Small price to pay if it helps me sty flare free for longer periods. I have just come out of a stubborn flare. Stopped prednisolone a couple of weeks ago and have been told aza will kick in at 4-6 weeks

  2. John July 7, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    I tried azathioprine once and it make me violently ill. Matter of fact, I had just had open heart surgery two years ago and while in the hospital recuperating a nurse mistakenly gave me azathioprine instead of my regular dose of mercaptopurine, They had to bring in a specialist to give me two intravenous shots of an anti-something to get me out of a violent regurgitation episode. Mercaptopurine is my wonder drug. I have been symptom-free of UC for 10 years now. It is my lifesaver.

  3. Shirley NZ July 7, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    I am prescribed azathioprine when in flare up mode. It concerns me that regular blood tests have to be administered monthly and I wonder and worry about the penalties we may have to face in the long term. My specialist would rather I continue on a maintenance dose but I can’t wait to get off it. I prefer to take a probiotic which is much less harmful. keeping my diet in check is the best cure in my opinion

  4. John July 7, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    Shirley:
    I can understand your predicament.
    I was diagnosed back in the early 1990s and went through the hell everyone else has gone through. I was on prednisone, off prednisone, on prednisone, off prednisone, asacol and others …. I am sure you and most others know the routine. I won’t even go into it but I could write a book on it.
    Meanwhile my gastroenterologist had been suggesting, not forcing me, to try mercaptopurine, an old blood cancer chemo pill that was used successfully in the 1950s but I think was set aside for newer treatments.
    Studies showed that mercaptopurine was rather successful in treating UC. I keep putting off the doctor and putting him off because I didn’t want to take a chemo pill, until one day, out of desperation, I gave in and tried it. Within around three months I saw some excellent relief. I can truthfully tell you that I have been in complete remission for at least 12 years and take 50 mgs of mercap daily. My diet is anything I want to eat, including spices and hot peppers with absolutely no effect. I don’t know the overall rate of success of mercap on others but for me it was a miracle drug. I wish you luck.

  5. John July 7, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    Shirley:
    Regarding diets, I forgot to mention, I read a lot about people who are trying all types of diet to control their UC. It is my understanding that UC is not a diet issue. It is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own tissue and cannot be cured, only controlled. It is my understanding also, the only time diet comes into play is when a person is in a flareup. This is a misconception of those close to UC patients that the cause must be something they are eating, i.e. too much roughage, too much alcohol and so forth. Those who don’t understand UC, albeit well-meaning, are misguided. Nothing, to my knowledge, as of today, will cure UC. As my doctors says, “You will take it to the grave.” Unfortunately, there is not enough money going into UC research for a cure. It is not one of those “popular’ diseases.

    • Moreen Coulson November 15, 2015 at 5:53 am #

      This is most realistic imformation I have read, I agree with all you say.

  6. Karen July 8, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    The SCD diet was created for those who have
    inflammatory bowel disease. It’s a great way for anyone to eat a healthy balanced diet
    actually. There are different foods causing the
    person with UC or Crohn’s ( or both) to have
    their immune system respond to foods differently than a normal intestine. Some foods
    actually cause inflammation. Not because it’s
    the food itself, but the UC person’s body
    responds that way. Other foods pull water
    Into the colon causing watery stools. Other
    foods ferment in the colon causing all kinds
    of the above mentioned symptoms all at once.
    A wholistic MD would be much more aware
    of this food Involvement, but your average
    GI doc will poo poo the idea. They are more
    interested in “big pharma”. There is lots of
    info on how starches, grains, and sugar are
    not doing us any favors to begin with. These
    three are very hard on inflammatory disease.
    Not to mention the obesity epidemic. We all
    would be healthier if we followed the SCD
    diet as much as possible. Eating in this way
    could foster a healing gut so hopefully those
    meds everyone is nervous about can be dialed
    down or stopped, and remission will be
    the reward. In my humble opinion :)

    • Nora Marks August 16, 2015 at 7:07 am #

      RE: SCD diet. I’ve been on it for 3 weeks now. I really did not want this diet to work because I love grain products, and it sounded so faddish, but I was between doctors and running out of meds, so was desperate.

      Well, it worked. And no one was more surprised than me. .

      Within 3 days I was no longer bloated. I was down to 2 or 3 BM’s a day from 6-10. Very little bleeding and usually none at all. I am still on it. I wish I could say I lost a lot of weight, but only a couple of pounds and I have 1 or 2 usually normal BM’s. Some gas, I think due to the probiotics. I will stay on this for a year or two and then challenge my diet.

      The SCD diet worked for me.

  7. Gordon Mckie December 23, 2014 at 4:25 am #

    Hi all,
    I took azathioprine for 6 years and it worked well for me… I am 45 now.
    I was diagnosed with UC back in 2000 after quitting smoking. I never managed to put the two together until I started smoking again after a year of being ill. During that year there was a hospital stay for 10 days where i was being pumped full of steroids and immuno suppressants. When my symptoms finally eased and I was beginning to feel better my UC specialist Dr Rose (an absolute Hero) prescribed 400mg Asacol am and pm as a maintenance dose and also put on 100mg Azathioprine, which was calculated according to my weight at the time.
    So I had been in remission and taking Azathioprine for 6 years with little or no side affects. I did notice my urine was like a fluorescent orange colour, and a slight sensitivity to sunlight, which I overcame with allergy pills (piriton). Apart from that I was lucky and no other symptoms arose. I do believe that the side affects are the biggest issue with this drug, but if your body can handle it, it does help to keep UC in remission long term.
    This lasted until a routine visit to my specialist around 2006. He recommended that I stop taking the azathioprine as he felt that I had taken all the therapeutic effect it could give and my body was now used to it. As I was still smoking around 20 a day there was no noticeable effect at this point. During 2010 I tried to quit smoking but immediately flared up and became ill. I made a choice at that point to start back on the cigarettes, and as soon as the symptoms came ( 5-6 days) they went away again.
    So I had been smoking 20 a day since 2010 and taking 400mg asacol am and pm and had another long period in remission with few issues of any note. Then in Sept 2014 i quit smoking again. I have been in an active flare up since… I am taking prednisolone 40mg daily and 1600mg asacol twice daily with a 1mg mesalazine suppository…. Unfortunately they will not prescribe any azathioprine.
    Thats been 4 months now and no real changes, I will give it till the new year and then I am going to start smoking again.!!
    In 14 years my longest remission periods were while I was on azathioprine and also smoking.
    I hope you good folks all manage to find some quality of life from this illness as I have on and off. Keep up the good fight.. :)

  8. Gabby M
    Gabrielle March 27, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

    So I am currently taking Humira. June will be about 2yrs. Back in October I started having a flare while taking the Humira (1 injection every other week) so my doctor put me on Prednisone starting at 60mg and slowly tapered down which took about 2months all together. While predisone was kind of working, she decided to increase the amount of Humira I used, so now I currently do Humira, 1 injection every week. I started flaring again about a month ago,and was sent for a colonoscopy. The scope/biopsies showed I’m still actively flaring, just not the entire left side of my large intestine, just the rectum and sigmoid colon now. So apparently Humira is doing it’s job just not as well as it should be. My Dr. wants to start me on Imuran daily, on top of Humira. Has anyone else had to do that? Or something similar where using 2 immunosuppressant medications at the same time??? I’m kind of freaking out honestly, and I’m not sure if I want to do this, and contemplating getting a second opinion. Help :-/

  9. Nora Marks August 2, 2015 at 5:17 am #

    I don’t do well on pred at all, Asacol didn’t work, Canasa did, but only when using it, mesalamine enemas, same thing. I was in a 4 year flare with almost no let up, lots of blood, diarrhea then constipation and a twice a week 4 hour episode during which I couldn’t get out of the bathroom. Changed gastroenterologists after old doc prescribed aziothiaprine then didn’t get blood test results to me to clear me to take it and then called to yell at me for not taking it. I already have one dysfunctional a$$hole in my life, didn’t need another one. So between docs, and waiting for my appt in Sept with new (and nicer) doc out of desperation I tried the SCD diet and within 3 days, I was no longer bloated and had zero bloody diarrhea and am only using a part of a mesalamine enema every 2 or three days when I used to have to used daily. I’ve only been on the SCD diet 2 weeks and have normal stools every couple of days, a few small bouts of gas and no nausea. The SCD diet has been almost a miracle for me. I can’t imagine going back to eating the way I did, even though it was a fairly healthy (I thought) diet. Tons of recipes and support on the web. It is way better to eat a grain-free, no sugar diet than take all the UC meds in the world. They all have side effects and the SCD diet is no risk, period, unless you are allergic to eggs or nuts. I think I’d rather heal my colon rather than treat the symptoms and so far, I’m doing much better with the diet changes than I did with any med they gave to me and it is WAY cheaper to eat this way than most of the meds. I urge anyone with UC/IBS/Crohn’s to at least give the SCD diet a try for 2 weeks and see how you do.

  10. James August 15, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

    Started mercaptopurine two weeks ago and fingers crossed

  11. Brett October 18, 2016 at 3:02 am #

    Started on Azathioprine nearly one month ago. Have built up to 100mg (50mg morning and night), with my specialist visit in another three weeks. Liver function is normal (at the moment), no nausea on taking it and symptoms subsiding. I have been on prednisone for months, and gained about 8kgs, so you can imagine I want to get off this necessary evil! If the Azathioprine works, then I’ll come off prednisone. When I start to think about it, it does concern me what it does long term, but seems to be having an effect, with no discernible side effects for the time being. It’s nice to be able to feel normal again!

    • Brett February 2, 2017 at 8:40 pm #

      As an update: went into a lovely remission, but received a call from my doctor at the end of November. Liver enzymes were elevated so cut back to 50 mg (25mg bds). Was OK for about a month, then a flare-up. Went back to Prednisone and was then put back on 100mg of AZA. Now almost back in remission. I have to see the gastroenterologist next week and I think he is going to try another drug, possibly 6-MP.

      • Brett February 13, 2017 at 8:30 pm #

        A quick update. Spoke to my gastroenterologist last week, and we have agreed to tolerate slightly higher liver function tests, on the condition that it doesn’t deteriorate. Feeling very good now. Fingers crossed!

  12. Nora October 18, 2016 at 4:58 am #

    I was too scared to start azathioprine due to potential side effects. I went on the SCD diet, stayed very strictly within the bounds and my symptoms went away in about 2 weeks. They return only if I go off the diet and eat wheat, rice or white sugar. Corn to a lesser degree. I lost some weight, felt good, no bleeding, no frequency, no bloating. You might try it. I use Asacol suppositories as needed, but they are only needed if I go off the diet. Otherwise, no symptoms. I’ve been on the SCD diet 1 1/2 years, ate things off the diet to challenge the diet and see if I’m cured. Not yet, but my tolerance for wheat, sugar and corn are higher than they used to be.

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