Medication Guidelines for Transplant Patients

One of the most important aspects of protecting your transplant is the medications prescribed to you.

Transplant Medication Guide
  • Store all of your medications at room temperature. Be sure the lid is on tight. Also, keep all medication out of sight and reach of small children and pets.
  • Never share your medications with others.
  • Take the medications prescribed by your doctor. If you or your local doctor feel that you need something else and are unsure if it is safe to take with your transplant medications, check with your transplant coordinator first.
  • Wearing a medical alert bracelet for your transplant medications is recommended. In case of an emergency, this would tell doctors that you are taking these medications.
  • Be careful not to run out of medication. Keep all medications in the containers they come in. Refill your prescriptions before they are too low. Make sure you have enough between clinic visits and over weekends, holidays, or vacation.
  • Never increase or decrease dose without instructions.
  • It may be helpful to have a list of your current medications with you at all times.
  • If you become pregnant while taking these medications, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Your doctor will want to carefully monitor the way your body is responding to your medications. Therefore, be sure to keep all appointments for check-ups and blood tests.
  • If you need to go to the hospital, bring all of your medications with you.
  • It is important that you:
  • Take your medication on time each day.
  • Know WHAT, WHY, and HOW MUCH medication you take.
  • Know the side effects of your medications.
  • Never start a medication (over-the-counter medicine or herbal/natural supplement) if you or your doctor are unsure if it is safe to take with your transplant medications.
  • Never stop your transplant medications unless you have checked with your transplant coordinator first.
  • If you have any questions about your medications, contact the transplant team at your hospital.

Tips for Remembering to take your Medications:

  1. Keep your medications on or near something that is already part of your daily routine, such as the breakfast table, night table, your toothbrush, etc.
  2. Right after taking your medication, mark it off your schedule sheet.
  3. Carry a day’s supply of medication with you in a pill container labeled for the appropriate times you take your medications. You can fill in each morning when you take your first a.m. medications.

(Reference: University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority.

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After her husband received a double-lung (bilateral) transplant in 2004, Shannon founded the Angel Cove Organ Donation Awareness Shop, which provides awareness t-shirts and gifts products for transplant recipients, living organ donors and donor families - giving 100% of the profits to help heart and lung transplant recipients with medical costs. Shannon lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her wonderful husband and two chocolate Labrador Retrievers.

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