AskNadia: Kidney Anti-Rejection Medication Causing Diabetes

Dear Nadia,

Does the anti- rejection medication from a kidney transplant cause diabetes?

Joyce T
Tiburon CA
Dear Joyce,

Recipients of a kidney transplant are put on a maintenance anti-rejection drug therapy because the body’s immune system will identify the kidney as a foreign object and send out t cells in droves, to destroy it. The anti-rejection drugs prevent these t cells from attacking the new organ.

The different medications used to prevent the body’s immune system from rejecting a new kidney are powerful immunosuppressive drugs. Over the last few decades’ patients have experienced more success in preventing the body from rejecting the new kidney by taking a variety of these medications.

The two side affects kidney transplant recipients experience are; living longer and diabetes.

The medications that cause diabetes as an adverse post condition are:

~ Steroid Prednisone,

~ Cyclosporine Neoral and

~ Tacrolimus Prograf

It’s also important to note that any other prescriptions, supplements or over the counter medication can impact the efficacy of these anti-rejection drugs. Speak to your transplant team before adding any one of these to your immunosuppressant maintenance prescription.

There are certain foods that can also change the strength of the anti-rejection medication either way; making it stronger or weaker and may impact the body’s ability to accept the new organ.  Follow the diet the transplant team provided you.

This article on  Drug And Food Interactions: More Common Than You Think might be of interest to you.



Kidney.Org https
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Nadia’s feedback on your question is in no way intended to initiate or replace your healthcare professionals therapy or advice. Please check in with your medical team to discuss your diabetes management concerns.

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Nadia was not only born into a family with diabetes but also married into one. She was propelled at a young age into “caretaker mode,” and with her knowledge of the scarcity of resources, support, and understanding for people with diabetes, co-founded Diabetes Interview now Diabetes Health magazine.

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