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 ?
We encourage the public to write their Congresspersons in support of the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2011," said William Applegate, Senior Policy Adviser for AST.
AST remains committed to seeing the passage of the Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage Act," states AST Public Policy Committee Chair Dr.
is eligible for enrollment in the insurance program established by this solely for purposes of coverage of immunosuppressive drugs.
About mTOR inhibitors - mTOR inhibitors are a class of immunosuppressive drugs, which include Rapamune(r), that inhibit T cell activation at a different stage in the immune response as compared to other classes (i.
Doctors began to taper the use of the immunosuppressive drug and, after six months, Kowalski was drug-free.
1454--Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Patients Act of 2011--would mean to patients receiving a kidney transplant.
An international group of researchers report they have identified a distinct pattern of gene expression in the largest group of kidney transplant recipients who have not rejected transplanted kidneys even though they stopped taking their immunosuppressive drugs.
After years lobbying, the transplant community appears to be on the verge of getting lifetime Medicare coverage for immunosuppressive drugs for transplant recipients beyond the current 36-month limit but a last minute objection by providers of dialysis over how the extension would be paid for has raised concerns that the change could be in danger.
Legislation that would eliminate the three-year time limitation on Medicare coverage for immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant recipients who are not aged or disabled has finally been introduced in the Senate.
Calling the current coverage policy "one of the great paradoxes in federal health policies," US Representatives Dave Camp (R-MI) and Ron Kind (D-WI) introduced HR 3282 - the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2007 - in the House of Representatives on August 1st.
The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (DIMA), signed into law by President Bush in December, is having an impact on transplant patients' access to life-saving immunosuppressive drugs because of cuts in the government reimbursement rate.
Using liver tissue donated by a genetic relative significantly lowers the risk of rejection, but Alyssa is receiving immunosuppressive drugs to further reduce that risk.