Kidneys Home > Rapamune Uses
Rapamune has been approved to prevent organ rejection after a kidney transplant. The medication decreases the activity of the immune system; due to this action, the immune system is less likely to perceive the new kidney as a threat. Rapamune can be used in adults and children over the age of 13.
Rapamune® (sirolimus) is a prescription anti-rejection medication used to prevent transplant rejection in people who have received a kidney transplant. This medicine belongs to a group of drugs called immunosuppressants.
Rapamune is normally initially used in combination with cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®) and a corticosteroid (such as prednisone). However, cyclosporine will usually be slowly reduced and stopped 2 to 4 months after the transplant surgery in people with low risk for transplant rejection, and 12 months after surgery in people with high risk.
A kidney transplantation is a surgical procedure during which a healthy kidney from a donor is surgically inserted into a person whose kidneys are no longer working properly. The transplanted kidney takes over the work of the failing kidneys. Only one kidney is needed to replace two nonworking kidneys.
An important part of a kidney transplant (as well as other transplant surgeries) is to prevent organ rejection after the transplantation. Organ rejection occurs when the immune system, which works to defend the body against harmful substances, sees the new organ as a potential threat and tries to get rid of it. People who have received a kidney transplant will need to take anti-rejection medicines the rest of their lives to prevent the immune system from attacking the new kidney.
Some people may have a higher risk for transplant rejection, including African American people and people who have previously experienced kidney transplant rejection. Rapamune is approved to prevent kidney transplant rejection in adults and children at least 13 years of age who have a low-to-moderate risk. It is also approved for use in those with a high risk for rejection, but only in adults.