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Transplant medicines

  • Important

    • You will need to take anti- rejection medicine for the rest of your life.
    • Please take all medicines exactly as they were prescribed. If you have any questions or if you don't understand any directions, please call your transplant coordinator.
    • Check with your transplant nephrologist before starting any new medicine that has been prescribed by any other doctor. This includes herbals, vitamin, supplements, and over-the-counter medicines.

    Your body can react to the new kidney as a foreign object and try to destroy it. This process is called rejection. To keep your body from rejecting the new kidney you need to take special medicine.

    You will need to take these immunosuppressive or anti-rejection medicines for the rest of your life.

    The nurses and transplant coordinator will start to teach you about the medicines right after surgery. You will be started on the medicines the day before surgery.

    You will receive a medicine list so you can set up the pills each day in your pill box. The transplant coordinator will help and watch you do this activity.

    When you are ready to leave the hospital it is important that you know which medicines to take and when. If you are not ready to get your medicine ready in the pill box, a family member, friend or in-home nursing service can help you until you can do it yourself.

    Do not stop taking a medicine or change the dose without the OK from your nephrologist. If you are having bad side effects, tell your doctor.

    Did you know?

    After surgery, you are under the care of the transplant nephrologists. Should you need a hospital stay for any reason after transplant surgery, the coordinator will stop in and see you to make sure you are taking immunosuppressant medicines.

  • Medicines and their side effects

    You will need to take a combination of medicines. The following transplant medicines all have side effects. You may or may not have side effects.  Use the following information to learn what possible side effects may occur. Tell your nephrologist if the side effects are keeping you from doing your regular activities

    expand to learn morePrednisone

    expand to learn moreCyclosporine (Neoral ®)

    expand to learn moreTacrolimus (Prograf ®)

    expand to learn moreMycophenolate mofetil (CellCept ®)

  • Preventive medicines


    Do not stop taking a medicine or change the dose without the OK from your nephrologist. If you are having bad side effects tell your doctor.

    In addition to the anti-rejection medicines, you will receive three preventive medicines the first two to six months after your transplant. They are:

    • antibiotic to help prevent bacterial infections
    • antifungal to help prevent yeast infections in the mouth
    • antacid to help prevent stomach ulcers.

    As the doses of your anti-rejection medicines are lowered, your nephrologist will decide when you can stop using the preventive medicines.


    You may have other side effects not listed. Call your doctor if you have new symptoms or symptoms that get worse.

    Other medicines

    You may need to take blood pressure medicine and/or any medicine you were taking before surgery. The nephrologist will adjust your medicine as you recover.