Hazards Of Life On Immunosuppressive Drugs

Impaired immune responses render the subject more liable to bacterial and viral infections. Treat all infection early and vigorously (using bactericidal drugs where practicable); use human gamma globulin to protect if there is exposure to virus infections, e.g. measles, varicella. For example, patients who have not had chickenpox and are receiving therapeutic (as opposed to replacement) doses of corticosteroid are at risk of severe chickenpox; they should receive varicella-zoster immunoglobulin if there has been contact with the disease within the previous 3 months.

Carcinogenicity is also a hazard, generally after 4-7 years of therapy. The cancers most likely to occur are those thought to have viral origin (leukaemia, lymphoma, skin). Where cytotoxics are

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