NCLEX Review: Immunomodulators and Immunosuppressive Agents

Nurses are sure to encounter patients with immune system dysfunctions. Immunomodulators and immunosuppressive agents modify the body’s immune response. In this NCLEX review video, we’ll explore some common autoimmune diseases and the effects of immunosuppressants and biologics, including general side effects and patient teaching guidelines.

NCLEX Immunomodulators and Immunosuppressive Agents Infographic

Infographic explaining immunomodulators

Everything You Need to Know About Immunomodulators

The Immune System: the normally occurring protective mechanism that helps the body defend itself against potentially harmful agents; sometimes, however, the immune system perceives normally harmless substances as harmful invaders and tries to eliminate them.

What are Immunomodulators?

Natural or synthetic substances that modulate or modify the immune response.

2 Types of Immunomodulators

  1. Immunostimulants – enhance the body’s resistance against infection
    1. Vaccines and interferons
  2. Immunosuppressants – suppress the immune system to reduce the risk of rejection of foreign bodies with organ transplant or in autoimmune diseases
    1. Corticosteroids
    2. Cytotoxic, anti-proliferative agents
    3. Conventional antirejection agents
    4. Biologics – biologic response modifiers

General side effect of all immunosuppressive agents: increased risk of infection and cancer.

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: May 15, 2020