A transplant may be one of the most important events of your life. Pictured below are organs available for transplant:
One of the most important aspects of protecting your transplant is the medications prescribed to you. By weakening or reducing your immune system’s responses to foreign material, anti-rejection medications reduce your immune system’s ability to reject a transplanted organ. These drugs also allow you to maintain enough immunity to prevent overwhelming infection.
Pill reminders like these can help you keep track of your medications.
Transplant candidates often take many medications each day. Here are ways to make sure you know how to best manage your medications and their side effects as part of your daily life. If you feel overwhelmed, talk with your doctor and call our support staff to learn about what has helped other patients make post-transplant changes.
General medication tips
- Keep all medications out of children’s’ reach.
- Always check with your transplant team before taking any new medicines, even the over-the-counter ones.
- If any medicine is soft, sticky, hard or cracked or has a notably different color or odor, ask your pharmacist to replace it with a new prescription.
- Always swallow capsules whole and never take them crushed, chewed or opened.
- Ask your pharmacist about which medications should never be taken with grapefruit juice.
- Keep a list of your medications with you at all times in case you are ever in an accident and are unconscious. Wear a bracelet or necklace that states you are a transplant patient and keep a list of all your medications and doses in your wallet or purse.
- Buy all of your medicines from the same pharmacy. Many pharmacies keep a medication profile for you to prevent causing harmful medication interactions.
- Get into a routine of taking your medications at the same time each day.
- Set up a time each week to sort out your medicines for the whole next week and put them into containers.
- Having family and friends help you sort your pills will make this job easier.
- Use tools to help organize your medicines. For example, a pillbox, small snack baggies labeled with days of the week and times of the day, an alarm clock or watch and/or charts may work for you.
- Because you should never run out of your medicine, even for one dose, it is important to keep track of how much you have.
- Mark your calendar so you remember to order your medications ahead of time.
- Keep your medications out of the sun and extreme heat.
- Always store your medications in a cool, dry place.
- Ask about our refill reminder program
- Always take extra doses of your medications with you–not in your luggage–in case you get delayed or miss a plane or train, etc.
- When traveling overseas and passing through customs, keep a letter from your doctor about your medications.
By weakening or reducing your immune system’s responses to foreign material, these drugs reduce your immune system’s ability to reject a transplanted organ. These drugs also allow you to maintain enough immunity to prevent overwhelming infection. Many of the medications used to achieve immunosuppression have adverse effects of their own. That’s why a combination of medications work best. These medications work in different phases of the immune response to minimize side effects and produce effective immunosuppression.