Rapamycin is an immunosuppressant drug that is also known as mTOR inhibitor or a growth factor. It works by inhibiting the activity of mTOR enzyme, which helps to control cell growth, division, and proliferation.

It is mainly used for the prevention of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in patients who are being treated with antithymocyte globulin as part of their stem cell transplant.

However, rapamycin does have side effects and cannot be taken by everyone. This article explains how you can get a prescription for rapamycin and its alternatives if you do not qualify for the drug.

Who Should take Rapamycin?

Anyone who is being treated with an antithymocyte globulin (ATG) along with a stem cell transplant (SCT) may be advised to take rapamycin by their doctor. This is because ATG is associated with an increased risk of developing a serious complication called graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).

GVHD is a complication that occurs when the transplanted stem cells from the donor start attacking the cells in the recipient’s body. This can affect many different organs and tissues, including the liver, lungs, skin, gastrointestinal tract, eyes, and nervous system.

How To Get A Prescription For Rapamycin?

If your doctor has advised you to take rapamycin, you will have to go for a few tests before you can get a prescription for the drug. Depending upon your health condition, these tests could include blood tests, a physical examination, an eye exam, and an electrocardiogram (ECG).

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The doctor will also determine whether you are an appropriate candidate for the drug after reviewing your medical history, current health condition, and possible side effects of the drug.

Alternatives To Rapamycin

If you do not qualify for rapamycin because of medical complications, then you can also take cyclosporine or tacrolimus instead. Cyclosporine is associated with few side effects and is often used to treat skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema.

Tacrolimus is also used for skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and atopic dermatitis. These drugs are also used to treat an organ transplant rejection.

Side Effects of Rapamycin


You might experience some side effects after taking rapamycin. Some of the common side effects include itching, swelling, rash, nerve problems, weight gain, and changes in cholesterol levels. If any of these side effects persist or worsen, then you must consult your doctor immediately.

The following medical conditions might also increase the risk of side effects while taking rapamycin. Patients with liver problems are advised to avoid this drug as it may worsen the condition.

Kidney disease : Kidney patients are advised to monitor their blood pressure while taking rapamycin.

Rapamycin may increase blood pressure by activating blood vessels and making blood more fluid. Patients with kidney disease may not be able to metabolize rapamycin as well.

Conclusion

If you are being treated with an antithymocyte globulin (ATG) along with a stem cell transplant (SCT), it is important for you to take rapamycin. This is because ATG is associated with an increased risk of developing a serious complication called graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).

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If your doctor has advised you to take rapamycin, you will have to go for a few tests before you can get a prescription for the drug. Depending upon your health condition, these tests could include blood tests, a physical examination, an eye exam, and an electrocardiogram (ECG).

If you do not qualify for rapamycin because of medical complications, then you can also take cyclosporine or tacrolimus instead.


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