Immunosuppressive drugs suppress the body’s immune system; they are used to treat conditions that affect the immune system (known as autoimmune diseases) and to prevent rejection following transplant operations.
What are immunosupressants used for?
The most common use for immunosuppressive drugs is to treat autoimmune conditions, which occur when the immune system starts to attack the body instead of attacking foreign bodies. Examples of this type of condition include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
The other major use of immunosupressants is after transplant surgery; this helps to reduce the risk of the body rejecting the donor organ as a harmful foreign body.
What are the negative effects of taking immunosupressives?
When a patient takes immunosuppressive drugs they become more vulnerable to illnesses and infections, as their immune system is not allowed to function properly. Patients who take immunosuppressive drugs should be monitored closely as they are at greater risk of developing illness and infections; without a fully functioning immune system even mild illnesses can cause serious problems.