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Immunosuppressant Drugs

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Updated December 15, 2012

Definition: A class of drugs that suppresses the body's immune system.

Immunosuppresants are often used to treat inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), and to prevent organ or tissue rejection after a transplant.

Drugs in this class include corticosteroids (such as prednisone), 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP), azathioprine, methotrexate, and cyclosporin. As immunosuppressants weaken the immune system, patients taking them are more susceptible to infections.

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