Question on use of anti-rejection meds post chronic kidney transplant rejection. What has been the experience of kidney transplant patients who have lost their kidneys due to chronic rejection or other reasons as far as continued use of anti-rejection meds (cellcept, prograf, rapamune)? Can one come off or wean off the anti-rejection meds or will patient need to stay on anti rejection meds to prevent immune system attacking a kidney that is still receiving blood flow though the kidney is not functioning?

There has not been a randomized controlled clinical trial of when and if to withdraw immunosuppression from a kidney transplant patient after the kidney transplant has ceased to function.  Each transplant center determines the protocol for withdrawal of medications that they will use.  It is true that many centers maintain some immunosuppression indefinitely, especially if the patient has an opportunity to get a repeat kidney transplant.  In most cases, the full doses are not continued but are gradually weaned off.  If no further transplantation is anticipated, then all immunosuppressive medications can usually be withdrawn.

Each transplant physician has his or her own beliefs about the proper way to do this.  For more information on Immunosuppressants please click here:

 

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