Medications to Prevent Infections Following Kidney Transplant

Because the immune system is weakened by the anti-rejection medications, the body's ability to fight off infections is also compromised. This is especially true in the first few months following transplant, when the doses of immunosuppressants are the highest.

During this time, the Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program team at Cincinnati Children's will prescribe some or all of the following medications for you to take to protect against infection:

  • Trimethoprim / sulfa (antibiotic to prevent and treat bacterial infections)
  • Ganciclovir (antiviral)
  • Nystatin (anti-fungal)

Trimethoprim is an antibiotic used to prevent and treat bacterial infections, such as pneumonia and urinary tract infections. It will be prescribed for the first few months after transplant, when the risk for infection is the greatest. It may also be needed for several months following any treatment for rejection.

These are closely related antiviral medications used to prevent or treat cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. Valcyte is a newer version of Cytovene that can be given less frequently.

Viral blood tests will have been done on both your child and his or her donor before the transplant to determine if either have previously had this virus. Since CMV can become reactivated when the immune system is weakened, if either your child or his or her donor has had it prior to transplant, take one of these medications for the first few months after transplant, when the risk is greatest. Valcyte may also be needed for several months following any treatment for rejection.

Nystatin / Fluconazole is an anti-yeast medication used to prevent and treat thrush. Your child will take this or another medication for the first few months after transplant, when the infection risk is greatest. They may also be needed for several months following any treatment for rejection.


Last Updated 12/2012