Tuesday, August 2, 2011

is the medicine worse than the disease?

So, I have a horrible infection in my leg. Hurts like the dickens and is not very attractive. I went to Urgent Care on Sunday, and then to my already scheduled rheumy appointment today. I have been placed on an antibiotic so let's hope that cures it up. However.....

My rheumy told me to stop taking my Imuran (which is the drug I take to manage my lupus symptoms) for a week, and once that week was over to reduce the amount I am taking to 100mg instead of 150mg. Now, let me tell you a few things about Imuran:

  1. It is an immunosuppressant....as though I am already no immuno-compromised enough with my low white blood cell count and positive ANA.
  2. It's an anti-rejection drug...which I guess is good since my body is fighting itself.
  3. "Patients receiving immunosuppressants, including Imuran, are at increased risk of developing lymphoma and other malignancies, particularly of the skin. Physicians should inform patients of the risk of malignancy with Imuran. As usual for patients with increased risk for skin cancer, exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet light should be limited by wearing protective clothing and using a sunscreen with a high protection factor." ummmm...need I say more than the FDA?
  4. "Severe leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, anemias including macrocytic anemia, and/or pancytopenia may occur in patients being treated with Imuran." FDA     Hello??? I already have two of these!!
So, I guess my question is.....is the medicine worse than the disease? Did taking Imuran cause, in some part, my leg to look like I have leprosy and feel even worse? I'm not sure, but I'm going to keep asking!

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