Simulect is a drug prescribed to help prevent the body from rejecting a newly transplanted kidney. It must be used in combination with other anti-rejection medicines. Side effects may include constipation, nausea, and headaches. This medication comes as a powder that is dissolved in fluid and given as an intravenous (IV) injection.
What Is Simulect?
Simulect® (basiliximab) is a prescription medication approved to prevent the body from rejecting a newly transplanted kidney. It is used in combination with other anti-rejection medications, including cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®) and a corticosteroid.
Simulect is manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
How Does Simulect Work?
Transplant rejection occurs when the immune system recognizes a transplanted organ as foreign and attacks it. T lymphocytes (a white blood cell type, sometimes simply called T cells) are an important part of the immune response involved in transplant rejection.
An antibody is a protein made by the immune system. Antibodies attach to substances in the body called antigens. Simulect is a manufactured antibody designed to bind to a specific antigen (known as CD25) found on the surface of T cells. Normally, interleukin-2 (a protein made by the body) binds to CD25 and stimulates T cells to mature and divide.
By binding to CD25, Simulect blocks the action of interleukin-2, thus preventing T cells from multiplying. This decreases the number of T cells in the body and reduces the risk for transplant rejection.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Simulect [package insert]. East Hanover, NJ: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation;2005 September.
Food and Drug Administration Web site. Vaccines, Blood and Biologics, Resources for Healthcare Providers. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/ResourcesforYou/HealthcareProviders/default.htm. Accessed September 30, 2011.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
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