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What Is Muromonab-CD3 Used For?

If your body is trying to reject your new heart, kidney, or liver transplant, your healthcare provider may prescribe muromonab-CD3 to keep this from occurring. Muromonab-CD3 is approved for use in adults and children as young as one month old. There are also some unapproved uses for the drug, such as treating a lung or pancreas transplant rejection. This drug works by suppressing the immune system.

An Overview of Uses for Muromonab-CD3

Muromonab-CD3 (Orthoclone OKT®3) is a prescription medication approved to treat people who are experiencing a kidney transplant rejection. It is also approved for the treatment of heart and liver transplant rejection after corticosteroids (steroids) have failed.
 
An organ transplant is a surgical procedure in which a healthy organ is transferred from an organ donor into a person who has a failing organ (the organ recipient). The transferred organ takes over the function of the failed organ, which is usually removed from the body. Not all organs can be transplanted. The most commonly transplanted organs include the:
 
  • Kidneys
  • Lungs
  • Heart
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Small intestine.
 
After an organ transplant, the immune system recognizes that the transplanted organ is not a normal part of the body. Because it is the immune system's job to protect the body from foreign invaders, the immune system will attack the transplanted organ and try to get rid of it. This is known as transplant rejection. It is important to try to prevent transplant rejection, as it can cause a new organ to fail.
 
Much care is taken before a transplant to "match" an organ donor to an organ recipient. Matching involves testing certain factors, such as blood type and tissue type, to ensure the donated organ is compatible with the recipient. This helps reduce the risk of transplant rejection.
 
However, matching is not perfect, and it does not completely prevent transplant rejection from occurring. Therefore, people who receive donated organs normally need to take anti-rejection medicines for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, transplant rejection may still occur even when anti-rejection medicines are taken.
 
Muromonab-CD3 is used to treat transplant rejection in people who have received a heart, liver, or kidney transplant. Specifically, it is used to treat acute rejection. Acute rejection is rejection that occurs early after the transplantation surgery, usually within the first six months.
 
When acute rejection occurs, the transplanted organ begins to fail. This can lead to symptoms such as:
 
  • Decreased urine production in people who have had a kidney transplant
  • Shortness of breath in people who have had a heart transplant
  • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice) in people who have had a liver transplant.
 
Other general symptoms of acute transplant rejection may include:
 
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • General feelings of discomfort
  • Pain at the transplant site.
 
It is important to recognize transplant rejection early, so it can be treated promptly. Medications like muromonab-CD3 can be used to decrease the activity of the immune system, and stop further transplant rejection from occurring.
 

Muromonab-CD3 Medication Information

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