immunosuppressive drug

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immunosuppressive drug,

any of a variety of substances used to prevent production of antibodiesantibody,
protein produced by the immune system (see immunity) in response to the presence in the body of antigens: foreign proteins or polysaccharides such as bacteria, bacterial toxins, viruses, or other cells or proteins.
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. They are commonly used to prevent rejection by a recipient's body of an organ transplanted from a donor. A transplant is rejected when the recipient's immune system acts against it; current methods aim at suppressing the activity of the lymphocytes, the cells that form antibodies (see immunityimmunity,
ability of an organism to resist disease by identifying and destroying foreign substances or organisms. Although all animals have some immune capabilities, little is known about nonmammalian immunity.
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; transplantationtransplantation, medical,
surgical procedure by which a tissue or organ is removed and replaced by a corresponding part, usually from another part of the body or from another individual.
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). The steroidssteroids,
class of lipids having a particular molecular ring structure called the cyclopentanoperhydro-phenanthrene ring system. Steroids differ from one another in the structure of various side chains and additional rings. Steroids are common in both plants and animals.
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, such as cortisonecortisone
, steroid hormone whose main physiological effect is on carbohydrate metabolism. It is synthesized from cholesterol in the outer layer, or cortex, of the adrenal gland under the stimulation of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).
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, which suppress the antibody-forming lymphocyte cells, have been used to prolong human organ transplants. Steroids may also prevent antigens from entering cells and thereby prevent local allergic inflammation reactions. In another immunosuppressive method, human lymphocytes are injected into horses, stimulating the animals to produce antilymphocyte serum. The serum, administered to humans with transplanted organs, in some way inactivates lymphocyte cells. The procedure will not work effectively for more than a few injections of serum. Another group of immunosuppressive drugs act by interfering with the synthesis of nucleic acidsnucleic acid,
any of a group of organic substances found in the chromosomes of living cells and viruses that play a central role in the storage and replication of hereditary information and in the expression of this information through protein synthesis.
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 and are especially effective against proliferating cells such as stimulated lymphocytes. Some of these are analogs of purines and pyrimidines, substances that are nucleic acid subunits; the purine analog azothioprine has been used to suppress rejection of transplanted human kidneys. Most substances that inhibit nucleic acid synthesis, such as nitrogen mustardnitrogen mustard,
any of various poisonous compounds originally developed for military use (see poison gas). Like mustard gas and lewisite, it is a vesicant (blistering agent).
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, cyclophosphamide (CytoxanCytoxan
, trade name for the drug cyclophosphamide, used to inhibit growth of tumors and rapidly proliferating cells. It is used in the treatment of leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, and lymphosarcoma and other solid tumors.
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), chloramphenicolchloramphenicol
, antibiotic effective against a wide range of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria (see Gram's stain). It was originally isolated from a species of Streptomyces bacteria.
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, actinomycinactinomycin
, any one of a group of antibiotics produced by bacteria of the genus Streptomyces. Actinomycin was the first antibiotic reported to be able to halt cancer; however, it is not widely used to treat cancers because it is highly toxic to humans, interfering with
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, and colchicinecolchicine
, alkaloid extracted from plants of the genus Colchicum and especially from the corms of the autumn crocus, Colchicum autumnale (see meadow saffron).
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, are not widely used clinically because they are too toxic. Many of the drugs that suppress the function of the immunological system are also used clinically to check growth of cancerous tissue, which is composed of rapidly dividing cells. The drugs currently used to suppress antibody formation also leave an individual susceptible to infection.
References in periodicals archive ?
Using immunosuppressive medication by no means invites abnormal Pap tests, but it may increase your risk for abnormal results.
The diagnosis of autoimmune sensorineural hearing loss (AISNHL) is ascertained by the history, clinical findings, response to immunosuppressive medication, and an immunologic evaluation of the patient's serum.
Danovitch G: Immunosuppressive Medications and Protocols for Kidney Transplantation.
In a 2010 survey, more than 70% of US kidney-transplantation programs reported that their patients had an 'extremely serious' or 'very serious' problem paying for immunosuppressive medications, and 68% reported deaths and graft losses attributable to cost-related nonadherence.
At the time they developed their infection, 25 of the patients were taking other concurrent immunosuppressive medications, including methotrexate, prednisone, and leflunomide.
Predisposing factors for laryngeal candidiasis include immunodeficiency syndromes, immunosuppressive medications (e.
These precautions and contraindications, which are all related to potential serious outcomes of replicating live virus infection, include age <9 months or >65 years, immune suppression due to thymectomy, HIV/AIDS, cancer, treatment with immunosuppressive medications or radiation, and pregnancy.
Such testing could provide clinicians with a strong tool to balance immunosuppressive medications and avoid the two most important complications of transplantation: opportunistic infection and organ rejection," Dr.
Without this legislation, transplant recipients face the potential of losing access to their immunosuppressive medications after 36 months which places them at a higher risk of losing their new kidney and being placed back on dialysis--a situation that has a proven higher cost to taxpayers and does not improve the quality of life.
Some evidence suggests that immunosuppressive medications and diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis may themselves make a patient with LTBI anergic, thereby resulting in a false-negative TST.
Health care reform efforts supported by the kidney community include increased kidney disease screenings, nutritional and educational consultations for maximizing care, greater patient choice in maintaining their private insurance coverage and extended coverage of immunosuppressive medications for patients recovering from transplantation.
Small fiber neuropathy is a form of sarcoidosis that occurs as a consequence of sarcoidosis due to an unknown mechanism; it does not respond to steroids and other immunosuppressive medications, and it may occur even years after the inflammatory manifestations of sarcoidosis have abated.