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Types of immunosuppressants

Post-transplant immunosuppression almost always includes a combination of drugs and approaches based on a patient’s individual situation, organ transplanted and current developments in the field. Depending on these factors, approaches could include:

  • Induction immunosuppression. This approach includes all medications given immediately after transplantation in intensified doses for the purpose of preventing acute rejection. Although the drugs may be continued after discharge for the first 30 days after transplant, they are not used long-term for immunosuppressive maintenance. Associated medications can include Methylprednisolone, Atgam, Thymoglobulin, OKT3, Basiliximab or Daclizumab.
  • Maintenance immunosuppression. Maintenance includes all immunosuppressive medications given before, during or after transplant with the intention to maintain them long-term. For example, Prednisone, Cyclosporine, Tacrolimus, Mycophenolate Mofetil, Azathioprine or Rapamycin. In addition, maintenance immunosuppression does not include any immunosuppressive medications given to treat rejection episodes, or for induction.
  • Anti-rejection immunosuppression. This approach includes all immunosuppressive medications given for the purpose of treating an acute rejection episode during the initial post-transplant period or during a specific follow-up period, usually up to 30 days after the diagnosis of acute rejection. Associated medications can include Methylprednisolone, Atgam, OKT3, Thymoglobulin, Basiliximab or Daclizumab.

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