As an active member of the transplant care team, it is important for you to understand all of the prescribed medications. Getting kids to cooperate in taking medications can sometimes be difficult. Parents and nurses should set firm limits around medication administration. It is essential kids take their medicines as prescribed, on time, every day.
Prior to discharge, the Transplant Coordinator and Transplant Pharmacist will provide you with a medication schedule. There will be several prescribed medications to help:
- Prevent rejection
- Support the immune system
- Prevent infection
- Control blood pressure
- Correct fluid and electrolyte imbalances
- Reduce stomach acid
When taking medications, keep these general guidelines in mind:
- Take medicines at the same time every day to avoid missing doses.
- Do not try to make up for missed medicines unless instructed to do so by your Transplant Coordinator.
- Always give the exact amount of medication as prescribed.
- Check the concentration and expiration date on all medicine bottle labels.
- Ask for refills at least one week before you run out of medicine.
- Report any side effects to your Transplant Coordinator.
- Avoid medicines containing pseudoephedrine such as Dimetapp, Actifed and Sudafed, which may cause high blood pressure. Please do not take any of these medicines without first checking with your Transplant Coordinator.
- Avoid ingesting any drinks or food containing grapefruit, pomegranate or star fruit due to their interaction with some of the transplant medications.
- Medications must be given the same way with each dose to keep a stable level. For example, if it is taken with food, always give it with food.
- In most cases, generic medications are OK to use. Patients should not switch back and forth between generic and brand formulations as there may be differences in absorption of the medications.