View Full Version : Using Imuran

04-04-2006, 08:58 PM

My Rhumie has just put me on Imuran (50mg. / day) for the first time in treating my Lupus. What should I expect as far as progress and side-effects? I am kinda concerned as this surpresses the immune system. What have others ecperienced? Thanks, D.

04-05-2006, 01:03 AM
Hi operant, I've been using Imuran for years now. As far suppressing the immune system is concerned i've never had much problems or side effects.
I think it would be a good idea to discuss this further with your rheumie though.

04-05-2006, 10:25 AM
Hi Operant;
Imuran is a brand name for Azathioprine, which is classified as an immunosuppressant medication. It is in the class of steroid-sparing drugs. Imuran is not used in cases of mild lupus, generally it is used in cases where lupus is quite active and symptomatic. Immunosuppressive drugs can have serious side effects, but they can also be of great value in the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus. They may help to prolong life, preserve kidney function, reduce disease symptoms, reduce damage to vital organs, such as the kidneys and lungs. Sometimes they have even helped to put the disease into remission. Immunosuppressive drugs can be used either in addition to, or instead of, steroids to spare some of the undesirable side effects of using steroids.
Immunosuppressive drugs are used in the treatment of lupus for two major reasons:
1. They are potent drugs which help to control disease activity in major organs, including the kidney, brain, cardiovascular system, and lungs.
2. They may reduce or eliminate the need for steroids (cortisone derivatives such as prednisone).
Imuran is less potent and less effective than Cytoxin drugs (Cytoxan), but has fewer side effects. Imuran is well tolerated in most cases. Imuran is steroid-sparing and studies have shown that it clearly improves liver and kidney lupus.
Some of the Side effects can include: nausea, decreases in white blood cell count, platelet count, or red blood cell count, increased risk of developing lymphoma (cancer involving the lymph glands, liver and spleen), with long-term Imuran use. Your doctor will conduct blood tests to determine the white blood cell, platelet, and red blood cell count should be done regularly in patients receiving Imuran. Adjustments in dosage may be made if the tests indicate a serious decrease in blood counts.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you. Let me know if you need anything more!

Peace and Blessings

04-21-2006, 09:33 PM
I'm so glad that someone else out there is wondering about Imuran because I was just about to post that same question. Thanks for the explaination Saysusie. I started medication just a month ago - Prednisone and Plaquinil - and was just switched to Imuran because of the side effects of the first two. Hopefully I'll have better success with the new meds. Thanks again.


04-22-2006, 01:06 PM
You are very welcome :lol:


04-27-2006, 07:18 PM
Went to see the doc today because rash has come back all over body, and joints hurt big time. He also prescribed Imuran, I'm starting tomorrow, but also continuing Paquinil and Prednisone. He said Imuran can take 4-6 weeks to really kick in, and you have to have monthly blood tests done, to make sure there is no damage to liver and to check platelet count. I'm hoping it does the trick.
good luck to you

05-02-2006, 10:23 PM
My wifes gonna start imuran as soon as she is better and out of critical care. Shes already tried cytoxan which helped control the auto-antibodies but lowered her white blood cell count too low. Shes also tried cell-cept which makes you sicker than a dog with diarrhea and stomach cramps. Hopefully this will be the new ticket.