The following information is about the medication you will be taking after your transplant.

If you are unsure of anything or have any questions, contact your transplant coordinator and they will be able to help.

Medication when leaving hospital

When you leave hospital you will be given a 7-day supply of your medicines together a “green book” which details your current medications. Remember to bring your book with you every time you come to the hospital.

You will be able to get regular supplies of your medicines from your GP. If you have any problems getting medicines, let us know straight away. You will be able to get an emergency supply from the hospital pharmacy.

What should I do if I forget to take my medicine?

If you have forgotten to take a dose, continue to take your medicine as normal. Do not take twice the usual amount when it is time for your next dose.

Is it safe to take other medicines?

Other medicines may interfere with your tacrolimus / cyclosporin.

Make sure that any doctor prescribing your new medicines is aware that you are on immunosuppressants. If you are buying any new medicines over-the-counter check with the pharmacist that they are safe for you to take. If in doubt, contact the Transplant Unit for advice.

What about herbal and homeopathic remedies?

Herbal and homeopathic remedies contain active ingredients which may interfere with your tacrolimus / cyclosporin. Always check with the Transplant Unit before taking any alternative medicines.

What immunosuppressants might I be taking?

The immunosuppressants you might be taking include:

  • Tacrolimus (Prograf/Advagraf)
  • Cyclosporin (Neoral)
  • Sirolimus (Rapamune)
  • Prednisolone
  • Mycophenolate Mofetil
  • Mycophenolic Acid (Myfortic)

If you do not take these medications as prescribed, it could result in rejection and the loss of your transplant.

These drugs need to be finely tuned as too little may lead to rejection and too much may lead to infection. Early after the transplant the need for immunosuppression is high but this need lessens with time, so these drugs will be slowly reduced by your doctors.

Possible Side Effects

Immunosuppressants, like most medicines, can have some unwanted side effects. However, just because a medicine has the potential to cause adverse effects, it does not necessarily mean you will get them.

All anti-rejection drugs will increase your risk of infection. The risk lessens as they are cut down, but common sense precautions will be necessary. Any signs of serious infection will need to be brought to the attention of the transplant unit immediately.

Inform the doctors if you experience side effects – they may want to cut down the dose or give you an alternative.

The individual immunosuppressives may have their own side effects as follows:

ImmunosuppressantSide Effect
TacrolimusShaking of the hands
Headaches
Impaired vision
"Pins and needles"
Raised blood sugar levels (diabetes)
Kidney damage at high blood levels
CyclosporinHigh blood pressure
Increased or unusual hair growth
Tender or swollen gums
Shaking of the hands
Raised blood sugar levels (diabetes)
Kidney damage at high blood levels
SirolimusRaised cholesterol
Decreased white blood cells
Increased liver function tests
Anaemia
Irritation of or sores in the mouth
Skin rash including acne
Delayed wound healing
PrednisoloneIrritation of the gut lining
Changes in mood
Indigestion
Increase in appetite
Weight gain
Rounded face
Thinning skin and bones
Raised blood sugar (diabetes)
Mycophenolate Mofetil / Mycophenolic AcidDiarrhoea / Upset stomach
Slows down production of blood cells in bone marrow