Mycophenalate

Some medications have side effects and long term implications despite their immediate relief or prevention of more major illnesses.  Transplant immunosuppressant drugs, despite their protective measures for the organs, are particularly hard on the body.
When an organ, such as a liver, kidney, or a heart is transplanted from one person into another, the immune system of the recipient triggers the same response against the new organ it would have to any foreign material, setting off a chain of events that can damage the transplanted organ. This process is called rejection and it can occur rapidly (acute rejection), or over a long period of time (chronic rejection). Rejection can occur despite close matching of the donated organ and the transplant patient. Immunosuppressant drugs greatly decrease the risks of rejection, protecting the new organ and preserving its function. These drugs act by blocking the immune system so that it is less likely to react against the transplanted organ. A wide variety of drugs are available to achieve this aim but work in different ways to reduce the risk of rejection.
Some of the side effects include:

Transplant Drug

Side Effect

Mycophenalate

Anxiety; back pain; constipation; cough; diarrhea; dizziness; headache; loss of appetite; mild stomach pain; mild tiredness or weakness; nausea; tremor; trouble sleeping; upset stomach; vomiting.

Tacromulis

Infections, difficulty sleeping, shaking, usually of the hands, headache, high blood pressure (hypertension), diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, skin reactions, sweating, hair loss, raised blood sugar level, raised cholesterol, changes in normal levels of levels of potassium, sodium, magnesium, # of blood cells, shortness of breath, appetite and weight changes, muscle or joint pain, anxiety, agitation, confusion, depression, dizziness numb sensations, seizures, heart problems, kidney problems, liver problems, ulceration or bleeding.

While Mycophenalate (CellCept) and Tacromulis (Prograph) can cause more immediate and temporary side effects that can be treated with changes in diet, activity or temporary relief medications, Prednisone has more significant long term effects.
Over the next three weeks we will take a look at the long term effects of Prednisone: Cataracts, Osteoporosis, and Cholesterol.
(Sources: Encyclopedia.com, Medscape Today, WebMD, Net Doctor.)
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