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azathiorprine
i have been taking azathiorprine for my crohns for 3 years now,my consultant has asked my local gp to take over the monitoring of my blood tests ect but he has refused because the drug is unlicensed!what does this mean?and is azathiorprine safe to use?.
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471161 tn?1317194550
Hi Sezzie1,

I have been taking Azathiorprine also known as Imuran for about 5 weeks now.  I was in the hospital with vasculitis of my heart because of the lupus I have and they put me on Prednisone and Aza. before I left the hospital.  I am happy to say I have not had any negative reactions to it.  I am actually very excited about taking it because I have been on and off Prednisone for a long time and if the Imuran kicks in and starts lowering my ANA then I will be able to stop the steroids (Prednisone) completely.  I HOPE !

I believe I know the reason your G.P. doesn't want to take over for your "consultant" on prescribing this medication though.  It is FDA approved for R.A. and a few other conditions but it is not yet FDA approved for Lupus or Crohns.  This drug was originally used for transplant patients to suppress their immune systems after they have had an organ transplant.  It has been found to be very useful in patients with autoimmune diseases such as Crohns and Lupus because of the fact that it suppresses the immune system and hopefully stops it from attacking our bodies.  There are many medications out there that are not FDA approved for what they are being successfully used for.  Cellcept is another one.  I did not do well on Cellcept but a woman I met online that lives in North Carolina claims that is the medication that put her into remission a few years ago.

How have you done on Imuran so far?  What dosage are you on?  Has it caused your ANA to go down?  Are your symptoms gone or at least under control?  I would love to know since I am putting a lot of hope into this treatment right now.

I am not sure what kind of doctor you mean when you say a "consultant" but I believe you need to be seen on a pretty regular basis by a Rheumy or an Internest the entire time you are on this medication.  I don't believe a GP knows everything to watch for in your blood tests and you should be getting blood tests every three months at least.

I hope this has eased your mind and I would appreciate it if you could tell me how you are doing on it.  I look forward to my ANA going away.  :)

Joni
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hi jonni,thankx very much for your info,iam on 100mg daily and yes it has kept me in remission for 3 years,it is a great drug i only get a flare up maybe once a year.i have blood tests every 3 months and so far everything is fine.my consultant is another name for a gastroentrologist,i hope that it works for you and would like for you to let me know how you get on.
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471161 tn?1317194550
You don't know how encouraging that is for me to hear you say that you have been in remission for 3 YEARS.  I have spent the last year and a half making it from my bed to my couch most days and my life has changed so drastically.  I had a job I loved that i had to quit and thank God I had bought one of those insurance plans in case I became disabled because I wouldn have lost everything by now if not.  I bought it when I purchased my home and really kind of forgot about it until I became ill.  I think God was watching out for me when I did that.  Like I said, it is the only thing that has save me financially.  Other than that my life has gone from working and going going going all the time to some days feeling like I don't have the energy to make myself lunch.  I cannot wait for remission!  May I ask how long it took the Imuran to start working on you?  My doctor says 3-4 months but I am hoping sooner.  Also, I am only on 50mg. but have been on steroids too.  I wonder if I should be on more.  Maybe she is trying to use the lowest dosage possible.  Please let me know how long it took it to work on you.
Thanks for your response.  You have made my day, REALLY.  I am excited.
Joni
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