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Thread: Imuran and Prednisone?

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    Default Imuran and Prednisone?

    I finally got to start some treatment yesterday. I was really excited to get some relief. My doctor started me on 60 mg of prednisone. It made me really hyper, so I'm going to take it in the morning instead.
    My question about the prednisone is that it has made my legs hurt something awful. I've had numbness in my right leg for a year now. Since I've taken the steroids, I've had bad pain. I also have sciatica-type pain in my left leg. Is that a side effect of the meds or is that the Lupus?
    My doctor said that next week, if the steroids work, then I will be given the option to start Imuran. He didn't want to give me too much info b/c he wanted me to focus on the steroid and that info.
    I'm starting to think about the Imuran and trying to figure out what I will do. I have a couple questions after researching it.
    First of all, I am a teacher, will taking the Imuran affect my immune system at all? I am around sick kids all the time. I'm actually a music teacher, so I see 50 kids an hour, 7 times a day. I also work in the nursery at our church in the one-one and a half year old room.
    Will I still be able to work without getting sick all the time? I already use hand sanitizer frequently.
    What were your experiences with the Imuran? Did you love it, hate it, indifferent?
    Thanks!

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    Hi..

    I don't have any experience with Imuran, but from my understanding it is use to treat kidney and liver Lupus involvement. It is considered a steroid sparing drug...either used in lieu of or in addition to..needing little use of steroids or none at all.

    It is an immunosuppressant drug, as with all suppressive drugs one is suspectible to infections...

    Each prescribed regime is individualized, as Lupus treats us all differently..Are you on a tapered dose of Prednisone?

    With Prednisone, I never had leg pain. I do get hyper the first few days then I become tired...it relieves my joint pain and controls my rashes. My doctor hestitates to prescribe the big guns...

    Enjoy your dreams..Night.
    Love,
    Oluwa
    I have Lupus. So *^#@! what.

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    Hi there Shepherdgirl...

    I've got long-term experience with both Prednisone and Imuran. When I was first diagnosed at 18, I had to be on mega high doses of Prednisone from the start. In the first 3 months, I was in constant flares and very very ill, even with the high doses of steroids. And my family doctor couldn't seem to get me tapered down with any success, so he ended up referring me to OHSU, Oregon Health Sciences University, in Portland. It was there that I met the doctor that was having success combining Prednisone with Imuran. That enabled him to lower the Prednisone dosage, once the Imuran got things in control with my Lupus. He ended up being my Immunologist for the last 27 years.

    I know other people on this site have had some difficulties with Imuran, but I never once did. I responded really well to it, without any side effects at all. I think the only thing I noticed in the beginning was maybe feeling a little more tired. As Oluwa said, it is an immunosuppressant though, so you are definitely more at risk for problems with that. But I never really had any major immune system problems and I took it for 10 years. I had my share of colds and flus and seemed to pick up pink eye a bit more easily when I was working at a Child Development Center, but my doctor made sure we stayed on top of any thing that came my way, so nothing had a chance to escalate, especially respiratory issues. I was extra diligent about not ignoring any little lumps or bumps or odd symptoms that came up...just always brought everything to my Immunologist's attention, that way things got checked out right away and didn't have a chance to get out of control. While I was on the Imuran, I did have to see my Immunologist every 3 months, for regular blood testing, but that was pretty routine for my Lupus. I stayed on the Imuran for the first 10 years after diagnosis, right up until I found out I was pregnant with my first child. Then my doctor pulled me off of it right away. If you and your doctor do choose the Imuran for you, I'd say just keep up with the precautionary habits that you already follow, i.e. hand sanitizer. As far as the church nursery and the one year olds....I wouldn't stop that, just use the same precautionary habits. When my kids were little, the worst age for catching everything from them was the Preschool age. That's definitely when I suffered the most colds and bugs.

    As far as the leg pain and Prednisone, that's not a side effect I ever experienced from the steroids, but I definitely had off and on leg pain just as a symptom of the Lupus through the years. Normally, high doses of Prednisone will mask your pain...or dampen it, so you don't feel it as much. I would say, if your leg pain continues, or starts to get worse, you should definitely call your doctor and let him know.

    Also, it is a good idea to take the Prednisone when you first wake up, because that's mimicking when your body normally releases it's cortisone for the day. It's not a good thing to take it at night, especially before bedtime, unless your doctor directs you to take it at that time. Sometimes, if the Prednisone dosage I was on wasn't covering my symptoms all through the day, and my pain and inflammation was flaring worse in the late afternoon and evening, my doctor would have me split the Prednisone dosage into three doses and take some in the morning, some mid afternoon, and some in the evening after dinner. That way I could make it through the night without having tremendous pain and symptoms.

    I hope I helped answer some of your questions.....For me, the Imuran was a good thing. It helped get my Lupus in control and allowed me to slowly taper off the Prednisone.

    Fondly,

    Lori

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    Thanks for your responses! I learn so much here, you all help me out much more than the doctor or nurse does.
    I have taken your advice and am taking the Prednisone in the morning and that helped my hyperactivity from happening in the middle of the night. However, around noon or so, the leg pain begins to creep in. It's not as bad as it was the first day, but it's pretty bad. Like when you're foot is waking up from being asleep. Freaky.
    The happy spell wears off about the time the leg pain hits. Very strange. I will probably call the doctor Tuesday if it persists. I see him again on Wednesday, but I'm not sure I can wait an extra day if it continues to be this bad.
    Thanks for the advice on Imuran as well! I am happy to hear that it was helpful for you, Lori!

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    Quote Originally Posted by shepherdgirl View Post
    Thanks for your responses! I learn so much here, you all help me out much more than the doctor or nurse does.
    I have taken your advice and am taking the Prednisone in the morning and that helped my hyperactivity from happening in the middle of the night. However, around noon or so, the leg pain begins to creep in. It's not as bad as it was the first day, but it's pretty bad. Like when you're foot is waking up from being asleep. Freaky.
    The happy spell wears off about the time the leg pain hits. Very strange. I will probably call the doctor Tuesday if it persists. I see him again on Wednesday, but I'm not sure I can wait an extra day if it continues to be this bad.
    Thanks for the advice on Imuran as well! I am happy to hear that it was helpful for you, Lori!
    I to have been on prednisone for 2 years and imuran for 1and one half years untill 3 weeks agao the doctor told me to get off it right away because both my white and red blood counts were too low and he says that could be from the imuran. I have not experienced any more illnesses since being on it except bladder infections. Hope this helps a little Bonita

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    Hello! I was on 110 mg of predisone last summer and I also had leg pain. I had to lay with my legs elevated. Then after they started tapering down I had a lot of problems walking. I felt like Gumby. My doctor said that predisone can weaken a thigh muscle. I went to physical therapy and it really helped with the leg pain.

    I was also on Imuran. I started having what I thought was heart burn. I was on a lot of meds and had a whirl wind of a summer in and out of the hospital and Mayo Clinic. So I did not think much about it. When I went to one of my appointments my son actually told the doctor that I was not feeling well and he did a blood test and my liver count was extremly high. So that would be one thing to keep in mind if they put you on Imuran.

    Good luck and take care of yourself!

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    IU agree 100% with Rastagirl on the prednisone. I never had any leg pain while on it cause it is a steroidal antiinflamatory that usually masks pain. I would only have the leg pain when I would try to wean off of it.

    I recently received a copy of a letter that my Rheumy is sending to Mayo. We are trying to get me there cause she does not know what to do with me. My pulmonary function test came back not so good. We did not even talk about it yet but it was addressed in the letter. It really stunk to be getting that news from a letter over a holiday weekend when you cannot talk to the doc. She wants to switch me from MTX to Imuran...I am also not sure of what to expect. I do not like the possible side effects that are listed on the net.

    Sorry...got off track...I hope that somemore people can give you more info.
    Money cannot buy you happiness but it can buy you a big enough boat to allow you to pull up along side it!!! - David Lee Roth

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    So, the leg pain on Prednisone is probably unrelated. Gotcha. One more thing to add to the loooong list of questions for the doctor tomorrow. It's going to be one really long appointment. I guess he's used to that.
    Best news is that I am having some signs of feeling in my right leg off an on. It's been well over a year since I've felt ANYTHING behind my ankle and toes. This morning, I was able to feel my sock rubbing on my ankle while driving. Sounds like a small thing to celebrate, but it has been a while! Maybe the prednisone is working. After a long day at work and crashing when I came home, I am back to no feeling, but for the brief amount of time I had sensation, I'll take it! Maybe it will happen again!

    cptnblah-
    I'm sorry to hear that you did not have good test results. I'm especially sorry to hear that you had to deal with the waiting process over the holiday weekend. Were you able to talk to the doctor today and get more information on what it all means?

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    Do you have a pinched nerve in your lower back? I had that in my back a few years ago and if that is the case for you...the steroids might be bringing some inflamation down to the point of you starting to get some feeling back. Just a thought though.

    I tried calling the doc yesterday and today to no avail. I guess I will have to call and ask if they are even in this week. That worked for me last time. The doc called back in like 15 mins. Her nurse is a real winner but the doc completely makes up for it. The doc is a real sweet and caring person.

    I hope your feeling continues.
    Money cannot buy you happiness but it can buy you a big enough boat to allow you to pull up along side it!!! - David Lee Roth

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    Quote Originally Posted by shepherdgirl View Post
    Sounds like a small thing to celebrate, but it has been a while! Maybe the prednisone is working.
    Shepherdgirl,

    Any little thing is worth celebrating! It is how we get through.

    I'm 22 and have had lupus for 9 years. I took Prednisone and Imuran for the first year I was diagnose and continued taking Imuran for about 3 more years. I never had any problems with it whatsoever. It helped control my lupus without steroids, at least for a while, which is always a blessing. It did suppress my immune system, supposedly making me more susceptible to infections, but I didn't notice any increase in colds or flus; in fact I was very rarely sick with colds/pink eye etc, and I was in Jr. High and high school.

    Just take normal precautions when teaching, and I think you should be fine. One of my favorite doctors once told me to keep "pushing my happy button" aka doing whatever it is in my life that fulfills me and makes me happy, despite having to make certain sacrifices sometimes. We control lupus, lupus doesn't have to control us!

    Congrats on teaching music. I just graduated with degree in music and hope to teach one day too (after a masters degree!)

    Take care and let me know how it goes.

    Kim

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