New medication options for liver transplant


Mayo Clinic researchers study medications and treatments for people with liver transplants, including new medications (immunosuppressive medications) to keep your body from rejecting your liver transplant.

In the past, people with liver transplants usually have taken corticosteroids (such as prednisone) as one of their immunosuppressive medications to prevent rejection for life. However, corticosteroids may cause weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, hepatitis C replication and other side effects and complications.. You may be able to reduce or stop taking corticosteroids soon after your liver transplant, which may lessen your side effects and complications. You'll still need to take other immunosuppressive medications.

Researchers also study lowering the dose or avoiding use of calcineurin inhibitors, another immunosuppressive medication, to reduce complications such as kidney failure.

Other immunosuppressive medication options that may sometimes be used for people with liver transplants include mycophenolate mofetil (Cellcept), mycophenolate acid (Myfortic) and basiliximab (Simulect). Researchers also study using sirolimus (Rapamune) as another immunosuppressive medication option for people with liver transplants, instead of calcineurin inhibitors.