Zortress is available by prescription and is used to help prevent kidney or liver transplant rejection. It works by weakening the immune system, so the body does not attack the organ as a foreign object. This medicine comes in the form of a tablet and is taken twice daily, with 12 hours between doses. Side effects may include nausea, constipation, and swelling.
What Is Zortress?
Zortress® (everolimus) is a prescription medication approved to prevent kidney or liver transplant rejection, which occurs when the immune system identifies the new organ as a foreign object and attacks it. Zortress is in a group of medicines called kinase inhibitors. It is always used in combination with other anti-rejection medications.
Zortress contains everolimus, which is also the active ingredient in Afinitor®. Afinitor is available in higher-strength tablets and is approved to treat certain types of cancers and tumors.
Zortress is made by Novartis Pharma Stein AG for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
How Does Zortress Work?
Zortress works to prevent transplant rejection by weakening the immune system. When certain white blood cells, called lymphocytes, encounter foreign material, they change into an active form and begin to rapidly reproduce so there are more of them available to fight the invading substance. Zortress blocks the activation and rapid reproduction of these lymphocytes, thus preventing an immune response against the newly transplanted kidney or liver.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Zortress [package insert]. East Hanover, NJ: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation;2013 February.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed December 3, 2013.
National Library of Medicine (US). Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?HSDB. Accessed August 1, 2011.
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