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Monday, January 21, 2008

Medications & Complications

  • Medication Guidelines
The patient is responsible for taking the medications that have been prescribed for him. He should talk to his physician, pharmacist, transplant nurse, and/or coordinator to understand fully:
  1. the name and purpose of each medication
  2. when to take each medication
  3. how to take each medication
  4. how long to continue taking each medication
  5. principal side effects of each medication
  6. what to do if he forgets to take a dose
  7. when to order more medication so it doesn't run out
  8. how to order or obtain medications
  9. what to avoid while taking medications
At home, the recovering patient will continue taking most of the medicines he began taking in the hospital after the transplant surgery, especially the anti-rejection medications. His immune system recognizes the new liver as foreign and will try to reject it. Therefore, his immune system must be controlled with immunosuppressive medications. The patient probably will have to take one or more of these drugs for the rest of his life, in addition to other medications.
REMINDER: Never stop taking medication or change the dosage without a physician's approval.
Before taking medications:
  1. Ask the nurse, coordinator, or pharmacist to help in selecting the best times to take medications.
  2. Try to take each medication at the same time every day.
  3. Follow a written schedule.
  4. DO NOT cut or crush a tablet unless advised to do so.
Storing medications
  1. Keep medications in the original container, tightly capped. If a special container is used to hold the pills, keep the container tightly sealed.
  2. Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  3. Do not store medications in the bathroom -- moisture can cause medications to lose their strength.
  4. Do not allow liquid medications to freeze.
  5. Do not store medications in the refrigerator unless the physician or pharmacist advises to do so.
  6. Keep all medications away from children.
  • Information About Specific Medications
including: infection-fighting drugs, antifungal drugs, drugs that protect the digestive system, and nutritional supplements.

  • CELLCEPT® (mycophenolate mofetil)
    Fights rejection by decreasing the number of white blood cells the immune system produces.

  • SANDIMMUNE® (cyclosporine A, CyA, or CsA)
    Used to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ. It is used for long-term (perhaps lifetime) immunosuppression.

  • PROGRAF (tacrolimus)
    PROGRAF is prescribed to prevent or treat organ rejection in people who have received liver transplants। It is used for long-term (perhaps lifetime) immunosuppression.

  • DELTASONE® (prednisone) - prednisoine, a related drug, is used for some patients.
    DELTASONE is a corticosteroid that helps prevent and treat rejection of transplanted organs. It may be used for long-term (perhaps lifetime) immunosuppression or, in higher doses, for treatment of rejection.

  • IMURAN® (azathioprine)
    IMURAN is given with other immunosuppressants to help prevent rejection of the new liver. It may be used for long-term (perhaps lifetime) immunosuppression.

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