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NJLinda 03-09-2013 07:31 AM

Imuran for Autoimmune
Anyone ever been put on Imuran (azathioprine) for autoimmune disease? I'm told I have MCTD and now on the following drugs, cymbalta 30 mg. prednisone 2.5 mg, plaquenil 200 mgs and imuran. Aren't these a lot of drugs to be taking?
My mctd is not under control and I have been getting a lot of flares, plus my joints are swollen. Also, how do they know these disease involve your organs,
(heart, lungs, kidneys)? With blood work? I'm assuming the doctors take the blood work and look for certain things and if that is elevated, you have organ involvement? Is that correct? Found out that my hair loss and facial marks are from mctd. It took me 1 year and 3 diff rheumtologists to come up with a diagnosis. Do you think mctd is worse than lupus since it adds another autoimmune disease to your body? Also my thyroid is up and I am prediabetic. I will get my new blood results next week and I'll keep you updated. One more thing, I am not sick enough to stay in bed but I just don't feel good so I push myself. Thanks for reading

ladybud 03-09-2013 09:26 AM

Re: Imuran for Autoimmune
I'm glad you have made progress with your diagnosis! These meds are all standard ones for MCTD and it is not too much together. I have been on that combination myself. Plaquenil is the standard baseline treatment, Prednisone helps quickly and hopefully can be discontinued once the Placquenil and Imuran kick in, which will take 2-3 months. The Cymbalta helps with chronic pain. You will undoubtedly need doses adjusted, and eventually should get to a more stable point where you feel better and have few if any flares. MCTD may be a little more complex than lupus, but is not better or worse. Each person with it must have their treatment tailored to their symptoms and response to meds, so you are truly making progress! Fatigue can cause a flare, so better to pace yourself than push yourself to point of exhaustion. That just makes it worse., Try frequent short rest periods between activities and alternate hard tasks with easy tasks to get thru the day more comfortably. Imuran is the strongest medication you are on, and it suppresses the overactive immune system. You probably need checked for Hashimoto's if your thyroid is off, blood tests for thyroid antibodies. Organ damage is assessed by a combo of symptoms, blood tests, xrays, urine checks and specialized tests as needed.

NJLinda 03-11-2013 08:46 AM

Re: Imuran for Autoimmune
Thank you ladybug for your imput. This weekend and even today I haven't gotten around much. So So So tired can't move. Today I forced myself to make the bed so it doesn't look so inviting. :) Haven't started my new med yet, didn't pick it up yet and my test results should be in this week. I'll keep the board updated.

luca689 03-11-2013 09:21 AM

Re: Imuran for Autoimmune
MCTD isn't a mixture in the sense that you have lupus and myositis and.... It is it's own AI disease that has some features of this and that as an overlap but is treated as it's own entity. How long have you been on plaquenil and imuran? It can take quite some time for them to become fully effective. If your thyroid hormone is lacking, that can certainly add to your pain and fatigue, but is pretty easy to treat (I have sclero and Hashi's myself) Ladybud is correct when she says to pace yourself. It does help. I still hold a full time job and stuff. Each person has their own course of their disease and response to treatment and you sound as if you are off to great start. As to organ involvement, your Dr's will monitor you through blood tests, check ups, and symptoms. It is not a given in MCTD that organ involvement will happen, but I'm sure that your Dr's will be vigilant and treat you accordingly. Good luck and keep us posted.

NJLinda 03-12-2013 06:27 AM

Re: Imuran for Autoimmune
Thank you both for your posts. I woke feeling better today. So glad because I was starting to get depressed with all this stuff going on. I have began my 3 meds. planquenil, upped the cmybalta and iruman this morning so that's a start.
Still waiting for blood work later this week. And would be surprised if there is nothing wrong with my thyroid. Very shaky in the morning. I did pace myself for the last 3 days so that probably helped. Thankx for the pick-me-ups.

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