Pharmacology Immune Drugs #1

Question

A patient is recovering from a heart transplant and asks the nurse why he must take cyclosporine. How should the nurse best respond?

Answers

  1. Cyclosporine decreases the risk of thrombus formation by interfering with coagulation cascade.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because one of the more common side effects of cyclosporine is formation of blood clots in the kidneys, not decreasing the risk of thrombus formation. Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant medication prescribed to prevent liver, kidney, or heart transplant organ rejection.

  2. Cyclosporine minimizes rejection of the transplant and must be taken long-term.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant medication prescribed to prevent liver, kidney, or heart transplant organ rejection. When the patient has received an organ transplant, it must be taken life-long to minimize rejection of the organ transplant since after transplantation, proinflammatory mechanisms are recruited into the cardiac allograft and lead to rejection.

  3. Cyclosporine increases contractility of the donor heart.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because cyclosporine does not increase contractility of the donor heart but is an immunosuppressant medication prescribed to prevent liver, kidney, or heart transplant organ rejection. Digoxin could be prescribed to this patient to help increase contractility,

  4. Cyclosporine helps prevent preload and afterload dysfunction in the cardiovascular system.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because cyclosporine does not prevent preload and afterload dysfunction in the cardiovascular system. Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant medication prescribed to prevent liver, kidney, or heart transplant organ rejection.

Overview

Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant drug used to minimize organ rejection and must be taken long-term.

Explanation

Cyclosporin minimizes rejection of the transplant. After heart transplantation, proinflammatory mechanisms are recruited into the cardiac allograft and leads to rejection. The medication is usually taken for life. Generally a three-drug therapy is utilized and Cyclosporin is one of the most common drugs used. The drug does not decrease risk of thrombus, nor does it change contractibility of the donor heart or affect cardiac preload or afterload.

Learning Outcomes

Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant medication often prescribed to prevent liver, kidney, or heart transplant organ rejection. When the patient has received an organ transplant, it must be taken life-long to minimize rejection of the organ transplant since after transplantation, proinflammatory mechanisms are recruited into the cardiac allograft and lead to rejection. Cyclosporine, added to other medications, are used to help the organ adapt and function normally in its new body. Immunosuppressant medications can make the individual susceptible to infection so the patient should report any sign of infection, such as sore throat or fever. Cyclosporine is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and severe psoriasis.

Test Taking Tip

Understanding classes of medications and pathophysiology of conditions can help the nursing student eliminate choices, even if the student does not remember a specific medication. Understanding the certain class would be needed, considering the pathophysiology of the condition could help the patient use critical thinking and figure out the correct answer.

Video Rationale