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What Is Sirolimus Used For?

If you have recently had a kidney transplant, your healthcare provider may prescribe an immunosuppressant such as sirolimus to reduce the risk of organ rejection. Using sirolimus once a day helps decrease the activity of the immune system, making it less likely to attack your new kidney. This drug may also be used "off-label" (for an unapproved use), such as after other types of transplants.

An Overview of Uses for Sirolimus

Sirolimus (Rapamune®) is a prescription anti-rejection medication used to prevent organ rejection in people who have received a kidney transplant. This drug belongs to a group of medicines called immunosuppressants.
 
Sirolimus is normally initially used in combination with cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®) and a corticosteroid (such as prednisone). However, cyclosporine will usually be slowly reduced and stopped 2 to 4 months after the transplant surgery in people with low risk for transplant rejection, and 12 months after surgery in people with high risk.
 
A kidney transplantation is a surgical procedure during which a healthy kidney from a donor is surgically inserted into a person whose kidneys are no longer working properly. The transplanted kidney takes over the work of the failing kidneys. Only one kidney is needed to replace two nonworking kidneys.
 
An important part of a kidney transplant (as well as other transplant surgeries) is to prevent organ rejection after the procedure. Organ rejection occurs when the immune system, which works to defend the body against harmful substances, sees the new organ as a potential threat and tries to get rid of it. People who have received a kidney transplant will need to take anti-rejection medicines the rest of their lives to prevent the immune system from attacking the new kidney.
 
Some people may have a higher risk for transplant rejection, including African American people and people who have previously experienced kidney transplant rejection. Sirolimus is approved to prevent rejection in adults and children at least 13 years of age who have a low-to-moderate risk for transplant rejection. It is also approved for use in those with a high risk for rejection, but only in adults who have a high risk for rejection.
 

Sirolimus Drug Information

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