- Anti-rejection drugs are
prescribed after transplantation to prevent the immune system from attacking
and destroying the transplanted organ.
- Commonly prescribed
anti-rejection drugs may lead to weight gain, thereby increasing the risk of
- A study has found that a
anti-rejection drug called Everolimus may prevent weight gain after
transplantation and reduce complications.
transplantation is a surgical procedure that replaces a patient's diseased
liver with a whole or partial healthy liver from a healthy donor. Patients who
undergo liver transplant are likely to experience weight gain, which is common
after surgery and can lead to serious complications. A research team from the
Intermountain Medical Center Transplant Program in Salt Lake City found that an
anti-rejection drug called Everolimus can reduce weight gain after liver transplant
and prevent complications.
team conducted a randomized international multicenter study along with
Northwestern University, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., and Mayo Clinic. The
study involved more than 700 patients.
after Liver Transplant
undergo liver transplant experience weight gain, which can consequently lead to
serious complications such as cardiovascular events, and post-transplant
metabolic syndromes such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and
undergo a transplant must take anti-rejection drugs so that their immune
systems do not attack and destroy the transplanted organ. Tacrolimus is an
anti-rejection drug routinely prescribed post transplant. Studies have shown
can affect the kidneys and cause weight gain, which heightens the risk of serious complications.
between Two Anti-rejection Medications
team conducted a comparison study among two anti-rejection drugs. In the study
published in the American Journal of Transplantation
, a new
drug called Everolimus was compared to Tacrolimus in reducing complications
after liver transplant.
conducted studies have shown that Everolimus prevented weight gain in fruit
flies and other animals. So an experimental study was conducted on human
subjects to check whether the effects were the same.
research was undertaken to see if Everolimus is gentler on the kidneys than
Tacrolimus. The study involved a total of 719 patients between 25 and 35 days
after liver transplant. The participants were divided into three groups.
showed that liver transplant patients in the first (Everolimus and Tacrolimus)
and third (Everolimus) group gained 10 pounds less than those in the second group
- The first group had 243 patients
who received Everolimus and a reduced dose of Tacrolimus
second group served as a control group that had 243 patients who received the
usual dose of Tacrolimus
- The third group had 231 patients
who were prescribed only Everolimus to suppress their immune systems
The research team also found that the
reduced weight gain was seen both one and two years after transplant.
Everolimus has been approved as an immunosuppressive agent by the Food and Drug
Administration for use in liver transplantation.
did have less impact on kidney function, and the Food and Drug Administration
approved the drug based on that finding for use in liver transplant
patients," said Dr Michael M. Charlton, researcher and clinician at the
Intermountain Medical Center Center Transplant Program, and the study's lead
Organ rejection used to be the primary cause of death
after transplantation. But now, the common cause of death following liver
transplantation is related to kidney function, cardiovascular events and
Cardiovascular disease, cancers and kidney
damage are driven by weight gain, according to Dr. Charlton.
One of the
reasons that people need liver transplant today is the weight-related liver
failure. "Since nearly everyone who receives a liver
transplant gains weight after the surgery, this could be an easy way to avoid
or limit the need for a transplant," said Dr, Charlton.
- Everolimus in liver transplantation -