Some transplant patients switch immunosuppressants for one or more of the following reasons:
- Lack of efficacy. Effectiveness of certain drugs can vary greatly in patients based on gender, past medical history, current treatment regimen and type of transplant.
- Positive and negative physical and psychological effects. There are both common side effects that many patients experience, as well as serious side effects, depending on individual patient intolerance.
- Short and long term health risks. Every patient’s treatment regimen must be examined to determine how switching immunosuppressant therapy may instigate additional health concerns or risks.
- Financial costs. Because it is very important that your transplant team monitor your progress and side effects while taking any medication, changing immunosuppresants may result in added cost due to an increased number of office visits.
Although there have been a number of clinical trials evaluating the effects of switching immunosupressants, it is often difficult to draw any conclusions from these studies because of the difference in sample size, variation in patients, variety of treatment regimens and much more.
In any instance of switching immunosuppressant therapy, doctors must take the patient’s entire treatment history into account. It is important that you talk with your doctor about in detail about your medications and any concerns that you may have.
Reference and Publication Information
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is committed to providing accurate and reliable information for transplant patients. The content on this page was originally created on August 15, 2003 by UNOS and last modified on October 10, 2003.
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