Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Diamond in the Coal

By Jove, I GOT IT! Lo-and-behold, I now know the drug and the dosage for the cure*. The bitterness of my situation led me through a tear through the Internet. I scoured medical papers. I checked the cross-links and every little trail I could find. I enhanced the specifics of my web search, and I found not one, but TWO papers that corroborate each other and agree on the dosage! Who needs a neuroendocrinologist now? Not this gal!!! Nor do my Unicorn Sisters!

According to the two different papers out there, the dosage is 100mg azathioprine once a day (150mg was not tolerated in any case, leading to some dangerous complications*). Treatment can last up to 6 months, but it can require as little as 4 weeks in some cases. Other medications (prednisone/levothyroxine/etc.) are continued until no longer necessary. (Azathioprine as an alternative treatment in primary hypophysitis and Lymphocytic Hypophysitis: Differential Diagnosis and Effects of High-Dose Pulse Steroids, Followed by Azathioprine, on the Pituitary Mass and Endocrine Abnormalities — Report of a Case and Literature Review) [*"two-fold elevation of alanin and aspartate aminotransferase, five-fold gamma- glutamyl transferase and transient leucopenia 10 days after therapy initiation, that subsided with dose reduction to 100 mg qd."]

Now to convince one of my local doctors to allow me to try this, since I'm bringing the information to them, and it's not on the suggestion of a doctor, that may increase their liability by... a lot. I honestly don't know. It may not be a big deal at all. We'll see.

But for me and my Unicorn Sisters, this day couldn't have ended better.

*Note: I say cure, but there's no guarantee. There never is in medicine. However, the statistics look *good*... 86% show improvement, and more than 40% go into complete remission.

This article is in response to Stocking Full of Coal

[Update 12/14/12]
I called my old Neuroendocrinologists office (as she has already left practice) and was able to talk to the prescribing nurse (who is filling prescriptions until the end of the year). I told her about my situation, was able to giver her the names of the two papers, the dosage, and put in a request for a recommendation letter to be sent to my GP about how to carry out treatment. I was told to expect a call soon!

So it may be that I was able to get this all in right under the deadline. Whew! I do not like close calls like that!! But I do feel better knowing that this can proceed forward again...


  1. Have my hopes out there for you that this can be done and that it works for you!

  2. Do you know what? You are an amazing person. Reading this story was very emotional for me, as I'm hunting my own cure, and my odds of being cured are also 86% which is just a freaky coincidence but it made me smile.

    YOU are a superhero. Wow. Just wow.

    1. Thank you so much!! Superhero... that's pretty damn awesome. :D