Rapamycin starting to go mainstream. Article today in Wall Street Journal

It definitely will raise awareness of rapamycin but I couldn’t read it. You have to register.

It also was featured on Drudge.


Could someone who has a WSJ subscription please post the text from the article (or a PDF)?

I spoke with the journalist who wrote it - she was very interested in it and seemed to be taking a balanced approach to it… I look forward to reading it.

Longevity seekers are captivated by a transplant drug called rapamycin, but many doctors are wary

A kidney transplant drug has become the latest fixation of people trying to fight aging.

Some people looking to extend their lifespan have for years turned to a decades-old diabetes drug, metformin. Now, rapamycin, an immunosuppressant medication, is capturing their attention because some aging researchers believe it holds more promise.


Can a Kidney Transplant Drug Keep You From Aging?

Longevity seekers are captivated by a transplant drug called rapamycin, but many doctors are wary**

A kidney transplant drug has become the latest fixation of people trying to fight aging.

Some people looking to extend their lifespan have for years turned to a decades-old diabetes drug, metformin. Now, rapamycin, an immunosuppressant medication, is capturing their attention because some aging researchers believe it holds more promise.

Rapamycin was originally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent organ rejection in kidney transplant patients. Scientists have studied its potential to fight aging, too, and animal studies of rapamycin have yielded encouraging results, although there is little evidence of its longevity benefits in humans.

Rapamycin’s antiaging potential has attracted more off-label users in the last five years, especially among self-described “biohackers” who relish data-driven experiments to optimize health, according to aging researchers and longevity doctors. Yet its side effects can be serious, and most doctors are wary of prescribing it off-label.

Deepak Chopra, the 76-year-old alternative health and wellness author with millions of social media followers, is among rapamycin’s high-profile users. He says he has taken 6mg of the drug a week for the last year and a half as part of a longevity regimen that includes supplements and two hours of yoga a day.

Efforts to fight aging

Longevity research is challenging because it is hard to prove that one particular drug or action is responsible for extending a healthy lifespan, especially in humans, who live for decades. Some measures and medications initially yield promising results only to come up short later.

Recent studies have damped some of the enthusiasm among some biohackers and longevity researchers for the diabetes drug metformin. The more recent buzz around rapamycin has caught the eyes of biotechnology investors. Last year, Cambrian Bio, a clinical-stage biotech company, announced a licensing deal with pharmaceutical company Novartis AG aimed at identifying a compound with longevity benefits similar to those of rapamycin with fewer serious side effects.

Matt Kaeberlein co-directs a research project that includes a clinical trial on the effects of rapamycin in dogs.

Studies have suggested that rapamycin can extend the lifespan of yeast, worms and flies. Studies in mice, including by the National Institute on Aging’s Interventions Testing Program in 2009, have also shown an increase in lifespan**.**

Rapamycin is part of a group of drugs known as mTOR inhibitors. The drugs curb a cellular pathway that is responsible for cell growth in mammals. Aging researchers have found slowing down cell growth can help prevent chronic inflammation and spur autophagy, or the process of cleaning out damaged cells.

Autophagy naturally decreases with age, which can lead to a buildup of cellular “junk” that makes it harder for cells to repair themselves and work efficiently, says researcher Matt Kaeberlein, who co-directs the Dog Aging Project, a research project that includes a clinical trial on the effects of rapamycin in dogs.

Reducing inflammation and clearing away damaged cells could help prevent or delay the development of age-related disease such as cancer, researchers say.

Weighing the risks

Most doctors remain cautious.

Rapamycin’s FDA label warns users may become more susceptible to infection and the possible development of lymphoma, noting that only physicians who are experts in immunosuppressive therapy should prescribe it. Research on transplant patients, who often take higher, more frequent doses of the drug compared with those who take it for longevity, showed some of the most common side effects were high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, mouth ulcers, and the loss of kidney function.

That hasn’t thwarted the enthusiasm for the drug within the biohacking community and among some scientists who study aging, who say that taking a weekly dose of the drug—rather than daily, as most transplant patients do—may reduce negative side effects and even improve immune response.

Some doctors at longevity-focused clinics and telehealth apps say they are writing off-label prescriptions to patients. The drug, also called sirolimus, is sold by Pfizer Inc. under the brand name Rapamune and multiple drugmakers produce its generics. An off-label monthly supply of the drug can cost between around $150 for generics and about $1,000 for the brand-name product. Some are turning to digital pharmacies outside of the U.S. that sell the drug for much less.

A spokeswoman for Pfizer says the company doesn’t support off-label use of any of its medicines. The FDA says doctors are generally allowed to prescribe drugs for nonapproved uses if they think it makes sense. The agency doesn’t vouch for the safety or effectiveness of medications used off-label.

Interest from longevity-seekers

Robin Young, an AI and biotech entrepreneur, started experimenting with various doses of rapamycin about two years ago in an attempt to determine what would work best for him. At the highest dose he tried, 20mg a week, he recalls getting several bad sinus infections.

Now, Mr. Young, who is based between Singapore and the Pacific Northwest, takes a lower dose every few weeks and avoids taking it at all when he’s traveling because of the added stress to his body. He worries about potential side effects such as high cholesterol but says he feels compelled by the potential benefits around cancer prevention.

“I want to avoid these chronic diseases as much as possible,” says Mr. Young, 42, whose mother died of ovarian cancer when he was young.

Dr. Bradley Rosen, a physician who runs a longevity-focused practice in Los Angeles, says rapamycin is the drug patients ask about most often. Dr. Kaeberlein, the aging researcher, says he gets “contacted once a week by someone who’s a CEO or a major partner in a venture-capital fund because they’re taking it.”

Dr. Alan Green, who runs a longevity-focused practice in Queens, N.Y., says he has prescribed rapamycin off-label to more than 1,200 patients. The most common side effect he has observed is an increased risk of bacterial infections. He recommends patients not start taking the drug unless they have antibiotics on hand.

AgelessRx, a telemedicine platform that prescribes longevity treatments, is running a randomized controlled trial with 150 participants to study how taking rapamycin affects visceral fat, or fat stored deep around the organs, which tends to increase as people age.

Krister Kauppi, a systems developer and biohacker in Gothenburg, Sweden, says he has taken rapamycin for longevity for roughly three months, even as questions remain about its long-term effectiveness and safety.

“It’s still guesswork; we don’t know how well it will work on humans or not,” he says. “From a risk-benefit calculation perspective, I have decided that the benefits outweigh the risk.”


Thank you for posting the text of the article.


For some reason I never expected Deepak to take rapamycin. Rapamycin might be alluring for both new ageists & scientists, considering the Rapa Nui story, it being natural and the ITP results, respectively.

Hopefully he is keeping his lipids in check

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It feels as though it has become a bit of an open secret amongst certain influencers. I’ve heard Tim Ferris and Tom Bilyeu mention it on their podcasts. They both have huge reach and lots of followers, so I feel as though it’s reaching a bit of a tipping point.

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I like the shout-out to our own @Krister_Kauppi at the very end of the article!

“It’s still guesswork; we don’t know how well it will work on humans or not,” he says. “From a risk-benefit calculation perspective, I have decided that the benefits outweigh the risk.”

Great summary to end the article, Krister! :slight_smile:


Fantastic to see coverage of Rapamycin in the mainstream news. Folks will likely never hear about it from their doctors, and as it has the potential to relieve or lessen disability and suffering, getting the word out to public is important.


And think of all the patients who will be flocking to their doctors asking for Rapamycin only to be:
A. Harshly denied
B. Told it does not work and is too risky
C. Doctor does not know what it is.

Sorry to be so cynical, I’ve had some bad experiences even with “specialists” and have been sternly taught the lesson several times that patients are not supposed to know about medicine. Still, I sympathize with the position that MD’s are in; there is so much to know and so much is uncertain.


One added note on this story on rapamycin. It mentions possible increased risk of lymphoma, especially skin related. This is why its generally advised for people on rapamycin to apply daily sunscreen to exposed skin… and given that its driven by “immunosupression”, which is mostly associated with mTORC2 inhibition from regular, daily dosing over a longer period of time (so less relevant to weekly dosing, or every two weeks).

“Increased susceptibility to infection and the possible development of lymphoma and other malignancies, particularly of the skin, may result from immunosuppression. The rates of lymphoma/lymphoproliferative disease observed in Studies 1 and 2 were 0.7–3.2% (for Rapamune-treated patients) versus 0.6–0.8%”

Source: https://www.pfizermedicalinformation.com/en-us/rapamune/warnings


Now there’s a gotcha…

Was the lymphoma found in daily doses or in weekly dosers?

How can Rapamycin prevent most cancers yet promote lymphoma? When I search for information, I find many scientific papers showing Rapamycin as a TREATMENT for lymphoma. I am confused.

This paper shows Rapamycin is a TREATMENT for lymphoma:



AND many more…


This is from transplant patients dosing daily… its part of the Rapamune data from many years ago.


Everything I have found is using Rapamycin to treat lymphoma. So, I am thoroughly confused. How can a treatment cause the disease?

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Here’s the answer:

Does rapamycin cause cancer?

Twenty years ago, it was thought that rapamycin might increase the risk of cancer (see a forthcoming review “Understanding the side effects of rapamycin”). Despite that concern, it was revealed that rapamycin actually prevents lymphoma and some types of cancer in transplant patients [20–27].4 Oct 2019

Currently, in fact, rapamycin analogs, everolimus and temsirolimus, are widely used in cancer therapy. Furthermore, rapamycin is the most effective known cancer-preventive agent in mice [25,2832] extending the lifespan of cancer-prone mice [3336]. It has even been suggested that rapamycin extends lifespan by preventing cancer [37].

Nevertheless, social media often warn that although rapamycin prevents cancer, its use to prevent cancer may come at the cost of getting cancer. This self-contradiction miscites a twenty-year-old warning by the FDA for all drugs marketed as immunosuppressants (including rapamycin and everolimus): “Increased susceptibility to infection and the possible development of malignancies such as lymphoma and skin cancer may result from immunosuppression.” This statement does not say that rapamycin or everolimus cause malignancies. (Just read it again). Although rapamycin and its analogs are now approved by the FDA for treatment of cancer and lymphomas, the rumors that these drugs may cause cancer persist. To my knowledge, no study has shown that mTOR inhibitors cause cancer.

Rapamycin for longevity: opinion article - PMC.

The initial study was flawed and the WSJ published the old data.


Lymphoma was observed in some kidney transplant recipients. There were three studies Pfizer sites. Study 1 showed a slight increase From 0.7% at 2mg/day to 1.1% at 5 mg/day (n=284). Study 2 showed 1.8% at 2mg /day 3.2% at 5mg / day (n=227). Study 3 showed no difference from untreated controls (c=1.1, Rapa+cycloA=1.4, and Rapa after withdrawl Cyclosporin = 0.5), so in fact a smaller incidence when cyclosporin was removed. All three studies included cyclosporin A which has been previously shown to increase the incidence of lymphoma and other skin cancers.


I have a similar question. Doesn’t weekly rapamycin influence the immune system quite differently from daily dosing?

Yes - the evidence from clinical trials is that the weekly (or low) dosing in the Mannick trial 2014 improved immune function. Daily dosing (typically 2mg to 5mg) is used in transplant patients , and helps (in combination with other drugs) to keep the body’s immune system from rejecting the new organ.


Keep in mind-
Being medically knowledgeable makes you a rare patient.
There is no reason for most doctors to know anything about Rapa.
You are asking the physician to prescribe a medication with dangerous side effects, for an indication way outside the standard of care.
There’s no research data showing Rapa extends life.
If something goes wrong, and you or your family sue, there’s little defense for the physician.


I gave the Buck Institute my list of supplements and asked if my enrollment to take rapamyacin was a good idea. The supplements that I take:

My daily supplements as of 05/01/2023:

  • Centrum Silver(1/day)
  • Zinc 50mg(1/day)
  • Super B-vitamin Complex(1/day)
  • Ginkgo Biloba 120mg(1/day)
  • Hyaluronic Acid(1/2X/day)
  • Spermidine(1/2x/day)
  • Acetyl L Carnitine(2/2x/day)
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid(1/2x/day)
  • Ashwagandha(1/2x/day)
  • Bacopa Monnieri 350mg(1/2x/day)
  • Berberine 500mg(1/2x/day)
  • Vit C 500mg(1/2x/day)
  • Vit D3 50mg(1/2x/day)
  • Vit K-2, MK-7 100mcg(1/2x/day)
  • Fisetin (2/2x/day)
  • Green Tea Extract, EGCG(1/3x/day)
  • N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)(1/2x/day)
  • Nattokinase Supplement(1/2x/day)
  • Nature Made Cholest-Off Plus(2/2x/day)
  • Nicotinamide Riboside (NR)(2/2x/day)
  • Qunol Tumeric 1000mg(1/2x/day)
  • Ubiquinol CoQ10 100mg(1/2x/day)
  • Metamucil Psyllium Husk (5/3x/day)
  • Omega-3s 1065mg(1/3x/day)
  • Odorless Garlic 3600mg(1/3x/day)
  • Resveratrol 800mg, Quercetin 250mg, MCT 850mg (1/3x/day)

The Buck does basic research – primarily in yeast, worms, flies, mice and human cell cultures. We do not provide medical services or specific advice to the public.

Regarding your list of supplements – based on years of working with our scientists I think they would recommend that you work with your doctor and proceed w/caution. Many supplements are not what they promise. They are not regulated – they may not contain what’s listed on the label. Also proceed with extreme caution with rapamycin. It is an immunosuppressant.


NOW, I will say, I do not know where AgelessRx gets the material for their supplements. I’d rather have Rapamune, so I cancelled my rapamycin doses for now. But I have DR appointments on the 5th and 10th and I plan to push them for Acarbose and discuss rapamycin. I’ll listen to what they say, but no matter what, longevity drugs are on the way.