Calcineurin Inhibitors (CNI) immunosuppressants are drugs used to prevent the body from refusing a transplanted organ. They are needed after transplantation to avoid acute humoral rejection and chronic cell-mediated rejection. Individuals often react to an organ transplant. The reaction causes damages to the transplanted organ. CNI immunosuppressant drugs come in handy to reduce the chances of these rejections and to protect the functionality of the new organ. They block signaling from T cell to T cell and between T cells and B cells by targeting some point in the IL-2 signaling pathway. Immunosuppressant drugs block the immune system to prevent it from reacting with the new organ. They are administered prior to an operation and during the operation. After a transplant, patients are given a combination of drugs from the CNI immunosuppressant drug family.
CNI Immunosuppressants Drugs
Drugs that are classified as CNI immunosuppressants are listed below.
CNI Immunosuppressants Uses
Although CNI immunosuppressants are primarily used during organ transplants, they also treat other conditions. Some of the uses for CNI immunosuppressants are listed below.
CNI Immunosuppressants Side Effects
As with any other drug, CNI immunosuppressants come with their own collection of side effects. Below you will find some of the associated side effects. Note that not all side effects are listed. If you experience severe side effects, contact your doctor immediately.
- Opportunistic infections
- Increased risk of cancer, especially skin cancer because of the drugs combination and exposure to sunlight.
- Nephrotoxicity (kidney toxicity)
- Swollen, tender or bleeding gums
CNI Immunosuppressants Interactions
CNI immunosuppressant drugs interact with other drugs which could make a side effect caused by either of the drugs advance. It is important to avoid drugs combinations whose side effects contradict each other. Below you will find drugs that may interact with CNI immunosuppressants.
- Calcineurin inhibitors