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Infliximab and Azathioprine?

Hello,
I am 30 years old and I’ve been on Avsola (Infliximab) for 2 years for my perianal Crohn’s disease and it has saved my life. After being incredibly hesitant to start it (because I was afraid of side effects), I finally took it and it healed a painful fistulotomy wound in my anal area and has continued to keep me no longer in pain for 2 years. I am thankful I have had no side effects from it and despite being an immunosuppressant, I have had no sickness or infections since being on it. I have felt amazing honestly. My doctor recently had me start taking Mesalamine suppositories to help heal the little bit of inflammation I still have in my rectum. However, after a recent blood test my doctor has informed me that while my infliximab levels are still good, I have developed an “intermediate” level of antibodies towards the drug. She has told me she would like me to start taking azathioprine/Imuran in addition to the biologic, as to lower my antibody levels. She told me I would take this for less than a year and hopefully this brings the antibody levels down. Of course this terrifies me to add another medication to the list. I’ve been so lucky as to not have any side effects from the Infliximab or Mesalamine suppositories. Everything I’ve read about azathioprine says it causes nausea, hair loss, skin cancer, and lymphoma. Is this the case with every one? I am pale skin and I do enjoy an afternoon by the pool but I already cake on sunscreen religiously. Can I still do that? Am I guaranteed to have clumps of hair falling out of me as some people have said? Or months of nausea? I also worry about how susceptible this makes me to sickness or infection. I have been so lucky not to get sick since starting my biologic but will this combo of meds destroy my immune system? And most of all, is this combination therapy even guaranteed to work? Will this lower my antibodies and let infliximab continue to help me? Even if I take it for less than a year? My biggest fear was that this biologic would stop working for me so I know this is the route I have to go to try and prevent that, I just am so scared and frustrated. I have felt so good for 2 years, I feel good today, and thought I had my Crohn’s under control but it appears I don’t. Has anyone else done this drug combo and how has your experience been? Thank you for putting up with my millions of questions.
 
Hello,
I am 30 years old and I’ve been on Avsola (Infliximab) for 2 years for my perianal Crohn’s disease and it has saved my life. After being incredibly hesitant to start it (because I was afraid of side effects), I finally took it and it healed a painful fistulotomy wound in my anal area and has continued to keep me no longer in pain for 2 years. I am thankful I have had no side effects from it and despite being an immunosuppressant, I have had no sickness or infections since being on it. I have felt amazing honestly. My doctor recently had me start taking Mesalamine suppositories to help heal the little bit of inflammation I still have in my rectum. However, after a recent blood test my doctor has informed me that while my infliximab levels are still good, I have developed an “intermediate” level of antibodies towards the drug. She has told me she would like me to start taking azathioprine/Imuran in addition to the biologic, as to lower my antibody levels. She told me I would take this for less than a year and hopefully this brings the antibody levels down. Of course this terrifies me to add another medication to the list. I’ve been so lucky as to not have any side effects from the Infliximab or Mesalamine suppositories. Everything I’ve read about azathioprine says it causes nausea, hair loss, skin cancer, and lymphoma. Is this the case with every one? I am pale skin and I do enjoy an afternoon by the pool but I already cake on sunscreen religiously. Can I still do that? Am I guaranteed to have clumps of hair falling out of me as some people have said? Or months of nausea? I also worry about how susceptible this makes me to sickness or infection. I have been so lucky not to get sick since starting my biologic but will this combo of meds destroy my immune system? And most of all, is this combination therapy even guaranteed to work? Will this lower my antibodies and let infliximab continue to help me? Even if I take it for less than a year? My biggest fear was that this biologic would stop working for me so I know this is the route I have to go to try and prevent that, I just am so scared and frustrated. I have felt so good for 2 years, I feel good today, and thought I had my Crohn’s under control but it appears I don’t. Has anyone else done this drug combo and how has your experience been? Thank you for putting up with my millions of questions.
Hi there
We have similar stories. Im on infliximab for Crohns since Aug 22. It has also saved my life! Had 2 hospital stays in may and july 22. Fistulas.... abcess....surgery to drain access...😪
Have developed antibodies so my GI has started me on 75mg Azathioprine. I will take my first tablet today.
I totally relate to the fear....i had the exact same fear around the infliximab but that has been fine with no side effects. I try to read only the positive stuffon this forum! Lots of people have no side effects from the aza. So fingers crossed. 🤞
Keep in touch and I will also.
 
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