caret icon Back to all discussions

Side effects of Azathioprine vs Biological drugs

Hi good people!

I'm pushing my doctor to switch my medicine from Azathioprine to a Biological drug such as Remicade as I'm in a minor flare up and I believe Azathioprine doesn't work anymore.
Azathioprine already has some minor side effects such as fatigue, sore mouth and Nausea. I wonder what would be the side effects of Biological drugs?!

Has anyone experienced this drug switch? How was your experience?

Wish all of you health!

  1. Hi , thanks for reaching out! I have not experienced this drug switch exactly (I actually didn't do well on a version of Aza, called 6MP, so I was taken off it immediately), but I wanted to speak to my experiences with the biologic side effects. I am on Remicade (infliximab) now and have been on it for about 7-8 months. So far, no side effects except for during and right after the infusion. I get pretty tired for about 24 hours and sometimes have a little bit of diarrhea around then. It clears up pretty quickly though! My experience with biologics has been pretty good (I'm symptom free now!) and though not everyone has the same experience, I just wanted to share. I hope you get an answer from your doctor soon. Please keep us posted! -Eshani (IBD Team Member)

    1. Hi Eshani,
      Thanks for sharing your experience.
      I'm happy for you that this drug is fitted with your body well.
      How often do you inject Remicade?

      1. For me personally, I didn't switch from Aza to Remicade. But when I was on Aza it made me incredibly sick actually, and I had to stop it around a month in. Out of all the biologics I've tried (which basically has been them all), I think Stelara worked the most for me until it didn't. I also had zero side effects on it. Everyone is so different though, many find remission with Remicade. On Remicade in terms of side effects, I would get incredibly tired after infusions and would need a full day to recover. I also remember getting diarrhea sometimes. The worst side effect however, was joint pain, specifically in my knees. That one was hard for me. But again, I'm sharing not to scare you. Remicade is kind of the go-to med for Crohn's because for a lot of people it really does offer them the best relief. -Elizabeth (team member)

        1. Hi Elizabeth,
          Thanks for sharing your experience.
          For how long did Stelara work for you? Aren't you taking Biological drugs anymore?

          1. I was on Stelara for about a year and I liked being on it, it just didn't provide enough relief for my Crohn's. I ended up flaring and having to go to the hospital so we decided to change meds. At the moment. I am on Xeljanz which is not considered a biologic. It is a JAK Inhibitor. I absolutely love it. I have been on it for two years now and it has given me my life back. -Elizabeth (team member)

        Please read our rules before posting.