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n. a drug, such as azathioprine or cyclophosphamide, that reduces the body’s resistance to infection and other foreign bodies by suppressing the immune system. Immunosuppressants are used to maintain the survival of organ and tissue transplants and to treat various autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (see disease-modifying antirheumatic drug). Ciclosporin is the immunosuppressant usually used in organ transplant recipients. Because immunity is lowered during treatment with immunosuppressants, there is an increased susceptibility to infection and certain types of cancer.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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