Rapamune is a medication used to prevent organ rejection after a kidney transplant. As an immunosuppressant, it works by affecting the body's immune system. The medication comes in two forms (a tablet and a liquid) and is taken once a day. Commonly reported side effects include swelling, headache, and high blood pressure.
What Is Rapamune?
Rapamune® (sirolimus) is a prescription medication that belongs to a class of drugs called immunosuppressants. It is approved for use in combination with other medicines to prevent organ rejection after a kidney transplant.
Rapamune is made by Pfizer, Inc., and distributed by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of Pfizer, Inc.
How Does It Work?
Transplant rejection occurs when the immune system recognizes a transplanted organ is not a normal part of the body and tries to get rid of it. Rapamune is an "immunosuppressant" medication. It works by decreasing the activity of the immune system, thus helping to prevent transplant rejection from occurring.
Clinical Effects of Rapamune
Rapamune has been shown to reduce the risk for kidney transplant rejection in clinical studies. In one study, 19 percent of people given Rapamune experienced a rejection episode within six months of their transplantation surgery, compared with 41 percent of people given a placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredients).
In another study, 11 percent of those taking Rapamune had transplant rejection within six months, compared with 29 percent of people taking a different anti-rejection medicine, azathioprine (Imuran®). In both studies, Rapamune was given in combination with cyclosporine and a corticosteroid medicine.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Rapamune [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer, Inc.;2013 March.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed February 5, 2014.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed September 19 2011.
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