Imuran is my go-to drug for keeping me off the prednisone. I do quite well on it. I'm currently taking 100mg daily. I usually have a bit of nausea when I first start taking it, but I find splitting the dose and taking it with a meal and a glass of milk will keep that down to a minimum - I know others also recommend tapering "up" to your full dosage, because it gives your body some time to adjust, and nausea can be a serious side effect for some people.
I also watch carefully for infections, and get regular blood work to monitor my white blood cell count, but haven't had any problems. My colleagues know that they need to stay home if they're sick!
I hope that weaning off prednisone means you are feeling and doing well! Welcome again, this is a great site for good personal anecdotal help and support.
I use to take Azathioprine i thought it good drug, never did get off the prednislone, but we are all different, i hope you do.
its a good sdrug and did work well for a few yrs, i wish you well, is all as it did was made me feel sick at first upset tum, but this got better with time, so give it time, i statred on 50mg then went up slowly to 150mg.
Hope all goes well for you good luck Lin xxxxxxxxxx
I switched from Methotrexate to Imuran to try and get off the prednisone. I'm still on prednisone, but am hopeful that I can slowly ween off it this time. As for Imuran, this is the first time in 3 years that the inflammation has gone from my lung...this is a BIG plus. I suffer from serositis. I think I'm on 300 mg a day? I take 1 1/2 tablets in the morning and 1 1/2 tablets at supper. Hubby does my meds now because I am on so many and get easily confused. Definitely take it with meals.
I've been on this for nearly 5 years now working my way up from 50mg. I think it was about 6 months in before I got to my current dose of 150mg (that's a pretty average upper limit dose). I think I avoided any side effects by my doc creeping it up slowly and I also split my current dose 75mg am and 75mg pm. I have a full blood count and a liver function test every month to make sure it's not having a bad effect on me and so far so good
It's worked well for me and has given me a lot more stability with the disease. I still get flares but they aren't as bad or as long lasting.
Are you on Plaquenil as well? I take that too and I think between these two drugs I have got a much better quality of life and no need for Pred (except for inhaled for my lungs and sometimes creams if I get an out of control rash). I rarely have to use the cream these days though.
I hope you have good luck with it as I have :luck:
Hi Cinnia, Welcome to the site. It is a great source of information and support. I took Imuran for several years(50mg. 2 1/2 tabs a day)for my SLE. I did not have any unpleasant side-effects. My Rhumy did labs every 6 months. I was on Imuran for several years and I felt soooo much better. Then the last 2 labs showed a rise in liver enzymes. Mine went to 250(35 is normal) I stopped the Imuran for a month and when I started on it again, the liver enzymes began to elevate. So because of possible liver damage, I had to stop taking the Imuran. I have 40% loss of lung function due to Lupus and now take Cellcept. When my pain gets intolerable, I take Pred. for 2 week periods, and it helps. Wish I could have stayed on the Imuran. Please have regular Labs done. Best of Luck, Rosie
I agree with everything you've been told in the other posts, especially about going up with your dose gradually. I wasn't able to do that because when I tried to stop the MTX, all you-know-what broke loose and the doc put me back on the MTX and bumped up to 150 mg. right away. I was just increased from 150 to 200 mg. a day and I'm taking two in the a.m. and two in the p.m. I was having stomach issues and found that Activia helped get my stomach back to normal. However, I stopped eating it, thinking I didn't need it anymore and the problem is now back, especially with the increased dosage. I'm back on the Activia and hoping to get my stomach happy again. I don't want to take drugs for the stomach issue if I can avoid it.
I'm also on Plaq. and I'm wondering why your doctor would say that Plaq. would replace the Imuran. They do different things, though they're both great for lupus. Since you've been on prednisone, it seems your lupus isn't that mild and you need something to suppress your immune system, like the Imuran. Maybe he's expecting remission so you won't need Imuran any more?
Unfortunately, I'm not sure why she would want to put me on Plaquinel. Won't be see her until June and then she'll retire. So I hope my next rhumy will be good. I just got my vaccines today so I hasn't tried taking Imuran yet. Will probably start on it this weekend.
I'm someone else who does very well on imuran. I went up to my current dose of 150mg over a short period of one week and was lucky to have no nausea or any other side effects. I also take plaquenil and have to stay on a maintenance does of pred but it it the imuran that finally got my bloods and disease activity pretty much under control.