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Immunology and Infection Medications

Introduction

The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body against disease and infections.

The medications in this section are all used to treat problems in the immune system. For example, antibiotics are used to treat, and in some cases prevent, bacterial infections.

Some people think that some of the core features of autism and some of the associated conditions, such as gastrointestinal problems, are caused by or made worse by a defective immune system. They believe that, by treating the immune system, they can bring about improvements in those other areas.

Evidence

Determining the benefits of most immunology and infection medications for autistic people is not currently possible. We must wait for further research of sufficiently high quality to be completed.

Risks and safety

Many immunology and infection medications contain active ingredients that can have strong effects on the mind and the body. For example, immunogloblins are usually well-tolerated, that is, usually no major side effects occur. Most adverse effects are mild and are usually related to the rate of infusion. However, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (2003) immunogloblins can sometimes cause a number of significant, life-threatening hazards including kidney failure, and they also carry the risk of potentially fatal transmission of blood-borne pathogens.


Antibiotics

Antibiotics are a class of drugs used to treat, and in some cases prevent, bacterial infections. They can be used to treat relatively mild conditions such as acne as well as potentially life-threatening conditions such as pneumonia. 

There are a number of different antibiotics each of which is is sold under a variety of brand names.  For example, 

  • Amoxicillin is in a class of medications called penicillin-like antibiotics. Amoxicillin is used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, such as pneumonia; bronchitis; gonorrhea; and infections of the ears, nose, throat, urinary tract, and skin 

  • Minocycline is a tetracycline antibiotic sold under a variety of brand names including Dynacin and Minocin.It is used to treat bacterial infections including pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections; acne; and infections of skin, genital, and urinary systems. 

  • Rapamycin is a type of antibiotic, a type of immunosuppressant, and a type of serine/threonine kinase inhibitor. Rapamycin is used to keep the body from rejecting organ and bone marrow transplants. Rapamycin is now called sirolimus. 

More information

Please see publications on antibiotics


Antifungals

Antifungal drugs are a class of medications used to treat, and in some cases prevent, fungal and yeast infections. 

There are a number of different antifungal drugs each of which is sold under a variety of brand names. For example,

  • Fluconazole is a type of antifungal medication sold under the brand name Diflucan. It is used to treat a range of fungal infections, including yeast infections of the vagina, mouth, throat, esophagus, abdomen lungs, blood, and other organs 

  • Ketoconazole is a type of antifungal medication sold under a variety of brand names including Nizoral.  It is used to treat used to treat fungal infections that can spread to different parts of the body through the bloodstream such as yeast infections of the mouth, skin, urinary tract, and blood.  

  • Nystatin is a type of antifungal drug sold under various brand names including Barstatin, Mycostatin, and Nystop. It is used to treat fungal infections of the skin, mouth, vagina, and intestinal tract.

More information

Please see publications on antifungal drugs


Immune Globulins

Immunoglobulins are proteins derived from human blood plasma. The plasma, processed from donated human blood, contains antibodies that protect the body against diseases. 

Antibodies are substances made by the body's immune system in response to bacteria, viruses, fungus, animal dander, or cancer cells. Antibodies attach to the foreign substances so the immune system can destroy them.

Immunoglobulins include intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg), gamma- globulin or immune serum globulin, which are normally injected into the patient.

Immunoglobulin injections or infusions are used to treat patients with a wide range of immune deficiency disorders including antibody deficiency states, such as thymoma with immunodeficiency; haematological conditions, such as acquired red cell aplasia; neurological conditions, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome; other conditions, such as Kawasaki disease.

More information

Please see


Related Pages

Quick link:
http://www.researchautism.net/immunology-and-infection-medications
Updated
15 Feb 2019