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Suppression of immunity with drugs, usually to prevent rejection of an organ transplant. Its aim is to allow the recipient to accept the organ permanently with no unpleasant side effects. In some cases the dosage can be reduced or even stopped without causing rejection. Other uses are in the treatment of certain autoimmune diseases and for prevention of erythroblastosis fetalis. Its main drawback is the increased risk of infection for the duration of treatment and of lymphoma in the case of long-term immunosuppression.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on immunosuppression, visit Britannica.com.