skip to content

Long-term Immunosuppression

The immunosuppressive regimen will be reviewed at 6 months post-transplant by the nephrologist responsible for the care of the patient. Patients will be informed prior to transplantation that their immunosuppressive regimen will be reassessed at this stage and may involve a change of medication, change in dosage, or continuation of the initiating regimen. This decision must be clearly documented.


Recommended Steroid Tapering

Week 4           Prednisolone 15mg

Week 8           Prednisolone 10mg

Week 12         Prednisolone 5mg

Mycophenolate Mofetil 

Maintaining the dosage of MMF ispreferable to allow minimisation of CNI dosage. However, side-effects may occur and many patients will require dose reduction.

Gastrointestinal side-effects are common.  Consider an an alternative cause of diarrhoea and exclude infection. If felt to be due to MMF, consider:

  • Splitting dose to 500mg qds is the first line approach

  • Switching to Myfortic (720mg bd = 1g MMF bd)

  • Reducing dose

  • Switch to azathioprine

Leucopenia may occur. Exclude CMV infection. Consider:

  • A small dose reduction and monitor white cell count.


Proposed options for long-term Immunosuppression:

Low risk recipient consider:

  • Steroid withdrawal

  • Using a lower initial dose of MMF or replacing it with Azathioprine

Aged ≥65 years:

  • For patients aged ≥65 years with standard immunological risk (no DSA), the initial dose of MMF is suggested at 500mg twice daily. This is due to a lower risk of rejection and a high risk of intolerance to full dose MMF

NODAT consider:

  • Steroid withdrawal

  • Low CNI level 


Due to the teratogenicity of mycophenolate, women of childbearing age must be advised on appropriate contraception following transplant (see Appendix VIII). It is recommended that women avoid becoming pregnant in the first year following transplant. Thereafter pre-pregnancy counseling is advised and the following measure should be undertaken.

  • Replace MMF with Azathioprine prior to conception or as soon as possible after conception in the event that pregnancy was unplanned.

  • Commence folic acid.

  • If deemed high risk of pre-eclampsia (allograft dysfunction, overt proteinuria, previous pre-eclampsia), aspirin may be warranted. Patient should be referred to high risk pregnancy obstetrician.


Advice for men taking MMF/Myfortic:

Recent updates to the Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) for proprietary brands of mycophenolate derivatives (CellCept® and Myfortic®) include new advice that sexually active men exposed to these agents should use condoms during treatment and for 90 days or 13 weeks (respectively) after discontinuation. This does not appear to be based on any new evidence and registry studies of paternal exposure have not identified an increased incidence of fetal malformations.

The following advice is from the Renal Association/Renal Pharmacy Group:
‘We recommend that potential fathers taking mycophenolate derivatives are informed of the theoretical risks of mycophenolate exposure to a fetus and be made aware of the contraceptive advice given by the MHRA and contained in the SmPC. We advise that these theoretical risks should be balanced against the risks of conversion to alternative immunosuppressive regimes on their kidney transplant status in an individualised discussion’.


Tacrolimus Levels << | Immunosuppression protocol | >> Steroid Withdrawal / Avoidance

Licensed under a Creative Commons LicenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


This page last modified 04.03.2018 17:44 by ANT. edren and edrep are produced by the Renal Unit at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh. CAUTIONS and Contact us.