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Zortress is prescribed to help prevent organ rejection following a kidney or liver transplant. This anti-rejection medication works by weakening the immune system so it will not attack the new kidney or liver. Zortress is approved only for use in people age 18 and older. There are no well-accepted off-label uses for this medication.

What Is Zortress Used For?

Zortress® (everolimus) is a prescription "anti-rejection" medication approved to prevent organ transplant rejection in certain people after a kidney transplant or liver transplant.
Zortress is always used in combination with other anti-rejection medications. For kidneys, it is used in people who are also given another kidney transplant-rejection medicine called basiliximab (Simulect®). In this situation, it is used in combination with low doses of cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®) and a corticosteroid medicine, such as prednisone.
When used to prevent liver transplant rejection, Zortress is always combined with tacrolimus (Prograf®) and a corticosteroid medicine, such as prednisone.
The immune system works to defend the body against organisms, such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, and other potentially harmful substances. It does this by recognizing and destroying the foreign matter through a series of steps known as an immune response. Transplant rejection occurs when the immune system realizes a newly transplanted organ is a foreign material and attacks it.
Although organ transplant rejection can occur at any time after a transplant, it is most likely to occur in the first six months. Anti-rejection medications, including Zortress, are given after surgery to suppress the immune system and help prevent transplant rejection. Because anti-rejection medications suppress the immune system, they are also called immunosuppressants.
Zortress differs from Afinitor®, another brand of everolimus (the active ingredient in Zortress). Afinitor is approved for the treatment of certain types of cancers and tumors. It comes in higher-strength tablets than Zortress.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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