Pharmacology of immunosuppressive drugs

Ali J. Olyaei, Angelo M. De Mattos, William M. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Immunosuppressive therapy of solid organ transplantation has become more potent, effective and selective since the results of earlier use of prednisone and azathioprine post renal transplantation. Calcineurin inhibitors and mycophenolate mofetil have been important additions to the effective antirejection armamentarium. Today, ciclosporin, tacrolimus, azathioprine, mycophenolate and prednisone are all effective immunosuppressive agents and are the cornerstone of immunosuppressive protocols used posttransplant. However, the use of these agents is hindered by a 20% rate of rejection, lack of selectivity and a high rate of major adverse drug reactions which ultimately lead to a decrease in patient and graft survival. A number of clinical trials are underway to compare efficacy, safety and tolerability of different combination protocols to improve patient and allograft survival and decrease adverse drug reactions. Clinical knowledge of the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, adverse drug reactions and therapeutic drug monitoring of antirejection agents is essential for designing an effective immunosuppressive protocol for individual solid organ transplant recipients. The clinical application of pharmacotherapeutic principles into the clinical practice will improve both long-term patient and allograft survival while minimizing systemic toxicity of immunosuppressive drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-479
Number of pages17
JournalDrugs of Today
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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