Immunosuppressive pharmacologic agents prescribed to patients with diffuse interstitial and inflammatory lung disease and lung transplant recipients are associated with potential risks for adverse reactions. Strategies for minimizing such risks include administering these drugs according to established, safe protocols; monitoring to detect manifestations of toxicity; and patient education. Hence, an evidence-based guideline for physicians can improve safety and optimize the likelihood of a successful outcome. To maximize the likelihood that these agents will be used safely, the American College of Chest Physicians established a committee to examine the clinical evidence for the administration and monitoring of immunosuppressive drugs (with the exception of corticosteroids) to identify associated toxicities associated with each drug and appropriate protocols for monitoring these agents.
Committee members developed and refined a series of questions about toxicities of immunosuppressives and current approaches to administration and monitoring. A systematic review was carried out by the American College of Chest Physicians. Committee members were supplied with this information and created this evidence-based guideline.
It is hoped that these guidelines will improve patient safety when immunosuppressive drugs are given to lung transplant recipients and to patients with diffuse interstitial lung disease.