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    Side Effects of Anti-Rejection Medications for Kidney Transplant

    Over the last two decades, advances in the development of anti-rejection (immunosuppressive) drugs have lead to a great improvement in transplant success and a significant decline in the occurrence of acute rejection.

    Despite these advances, many patients suffer from side effects caused by antirejection drugs. The table below summarizes common side effects associated with each drug. Most patients are on a combination of up to three of the medications listed.

    Patients who are concerned that they might be affected by one or more of these side effects should consult their local primary care provider or California Pacific Medical Center’s Kidney Team.

    Common Immunosuppressive Side Effects

    DRUGSADVERSE EFFECTS
    Steroids (prednisone, deltasone)Hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, hyperlipidemia (high blood cholesterol and fat levels), bone disease, weight gain, swelling, impaired wound healing, cataracts, psychological changes
    Azathioprine (imuran)Neutropenia (low white blood cell count), anemia, liver inflammation, hair loss, acute pancreatitis
    Cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral, Gengraf, Eon)Kidney toxicity, diabetes, hypertension, gout, high potassium levels, hyperlipidemia, neurotoxicty, hair and gum over-growth, diabetes
    Tacrolimus (Prograf)Kidney toxicity, neurotoxicity, hypertension, gout, high potassium levels, hyperlipidemia
    Mycophenolate mofetil (Cellcept, Myfortic)Gastrointestinal intolerance, neutropenia, anemia
    Sirolimus (Rapamune)Hyperlipidemia, low platelet counts, neutropenia, anemia, poor wound healing

    About California Pacific Medical Center

    California Pacific Medical Center, part of the Sutter Health network, offers kidney, pancreas, liver and heart transplantation as part of our Barry S. Levin, MD Department of Transplant.

    Kidney & Pancreas Transplant Program
    California Pacific Medical Center
    2340 Clay Street
    San Francisco, CA 94115
    Tel. 415-600-1000

    Outreach locations available throughout Northern California and in Reno.