Managing My Cryo: Imuran, Steroids and Balance
Starting on Imuran:
- I’ll be starting on Imuran this weekend. I was on a combination of cyclophosphamide, antibiotics, and prednisone for 3 months, to force remission and withdrew the cyclophosphamide two weeks ago to “wash out” a bit before starting the transition to Imuran.
- Right now I am on 30 mg prednisone per day only and still seem to be in full remission. My tolerance of cold is basically “normal” right now….. if my life can be described as normal at all…..
- Imuran is a very slow acting immunosuppressant.
- It takes weeks for it to have any effect at all, and is typically a month or two before it is at full effect. (In the near term I expect to remain on antibiotics.)
- Right now the plan is to start Imuran at 50 mg, twice a day, and in two weeks I’ll taper down the prednsone to 20mg/day and hold there until I get blood work done again in another month.
- Once the Imuran is in full effect, and if I am not flaring, I’ll start tapering off of the prednisone completely and remain on imuran for remission maintennence….
- This is the teter toter of transitioning off one medicine to another.. If down too fast on steroids I may flare. It is a balance that is difficult to maintain and is unpredictable.
- Using steroids in conjunction with Imuran (or other immune suppressants) is a fairly standard protocol for establishing remission in essential cryoglobulinemia.
*NOTE: It is really not what one would do in the case of cryo that is secondary to some other cause. In those cases the primary cause is usually treated first.