Medication Guidelines

You need to take a number of medications after your transplant to stay well and prevent organ rejection. Our transplant pharmacists have dedicated expertise and specialized training in transplant care. They work with you and your caregivers to help you manage the routine.

Medication do’s and don’ts

Your education in transplant medications starts during your stay at Henry Ford Hospital. You begin learning about your medicines and how to take them while in the hospital. This approach ensures that you are confident in the process by the time you go home.

Our transplant pharmacists will provide you and your caregivers with information about the do’s and don’ts involved with taking transplant medications. Topics include:

Ordering medications

We offer several pharmacy services to ensure you never run out of medication or forget to order a refill:

Taking medications

When you take transplant medications, please keep in mind to:

  • Take your medicine as directed by your transplant team. Do not stop a medication or change your dose without first checking with your transplant team.
    • Take your medication at the same time every day, sticking to a strict schedule as much as possible. Delayed or missed doses can increase the risk of organ rejection. Consider using a device, such as the Medication Dispensing System, to ensure you do not miss a dose.
  • Remember that some medicines need to be taken with food, a full glass of water or on an empty stomach.
  • Contact your transplant team if you miss a dose or if you are too ill to keep down medicine.
  • Alert your transplant team if you experience concerning side effects.
  • Keep a current list of your medicines, including how often you take them and the dose. Carry this list with you at all times and give copies to caregivers. The Henry Ford Rx mobile app makes it easy to maintain an up-to-date list.
  • Let your transplant team know if you are having problems paying for your medications. A social worker or financial counselor can look into financial assistance.

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Safeguarding health

Taking transplant medications requires you to take extra precautions:

  • Consult with your transplant team before taking any new medication, even if another doctor prescribed it.
  • Female transplant recipients should consult with their doctors when considering pregnancy and before becoming pregnant. Certain medications are not safe to take during pregnancy.
  • Check with your transplant team before taking any over-the-counter medication, including medicines for headaches, colds and upset stomach. Some medicines can interfere with the effectiveness of transplant medications.
  • Do not take vitamins or herbal supplements without first checking with your transplant team. Some herbal supplements can weaken the effects of transplant medications or cause side effects that can harm your new organ.

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Storing medications

Please take special care in storing your transplant medications:

  • Store transplant medications at room temperature in a moisture-free environment (not a bathroom) away from heat and direct light, unless otherwise indicated by your pharmacist or the medication label.
  • Keep all medications in a locked cabinet out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Tightly close medication bottles to prevent deterioration from air exposure and to keep children from accessing the medicine.
  • Store medications in their original pharmacy bottles to prevent medication mix-ups.

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Traveling with medications

When traveling by plane, take your medications with you on a carry-on bag. Varying temperatures in the checked luggage compartment can affect a drug’s potency. Plus, you will be without your medicine if your luggage is lost.

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Take the next step

Speak with a Transplant Institute specialist.