Kidneys Home > Orthoclone OKT3 Uses
How Does This Medicine Work?Transplant rejection occurs when the immune system recognizes a transplanted organ as foreign and attacks it. T-lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell, sometimes simply called T-cells) play a major role in transplant rejection.
Orthoclone OKT3 is a laboratory-made antibody (a protein normally produced by the immune system) that recognizes and attaches to a specific protein found on T-cells (known as the cell differentiation cluster 3, or CD3). When Orthoclone OKT3 binds to CD3, it blocks the ability of T-cells to function properly, which stops transplant rejection from occurring.
Is It Safe for Children to Use Orthoclone OKT3?Orthoclone OKT3 is approved for use in children as young as one month old. Children may have an increased risk for certain serious Orthoclone OKT3 side effects, including blood clots, brain swelling, and infections. Talk to your child's healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this medicine in children.
Can Older Adults Use It?There is little information available on the use of Orthoclone OKT3 in older adults. Older adults may have an increased risk for certain Orthoclone OKT3 side effects, such as infections, and therefore may need to be monitored more closely.
Off-Label Uses for Orthoclone OKT3On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this medication for something other than the treatment of transplant rejection after a kidney, heart, or liver transplant. This is called an "off-label" use. Orthoclone OKT3 may sometimes be prescribed off-label for:
- Prevention (not treatment) of heart, liver, or kidney transplant rejection
- Treatment of lung or pancreas transplant rejection
- Prevention and treatment of graft versus host disease (a complication that may occur after a stem cell or bone marrow transplant).