Pancreas Transplant Patient Guide
You should talk to your physician, pharmacist, transplant nurse, and/or coordinator to understand fully:
- the name and purpose of each medication
- when to take each medication
- how to take each medication
- how long to continue taking each medication
- principal side effects of each medication
- what to do if he forgets to take a dose
- when to order more medication so it doesn't run out
- how to order or obtain medications
- what to avoid while taking medications
At home, you will continue taking most of the medicines you began taking in the hospital after the transplant surgery, especially the anti-rejection medications. Your immune system recognizes the new pancreas as foreign and will try to reject it. Therefore, your immune system must be controlled with immunosuppressive medications. You will probably have to take one or more of these drugs for the rest of your life, in addition to other medications.
REMINDER: Never stop taking medication or change the dosage without a physician's approval.
Rules for Medications
- Take each medication at the same time every day.
- Follow a written schedule.
- Learn both the generic and brand names of each medication: in the following list, the generic names are written first and the brand names are in parentheses.
- Take all of your medications precisely as directed by your doctor. Try not to miss any doses and try to stick with your prescribed schedule.
- If you miss a dose, call the transplant team for instructions.
- Do not take other medications unless they have been prescribed by, or discussed with one of the transplant doctors/nurses. This is especially true for over-the-counter drugs bought without your doctor's prescription. They can interfere with your immunosuppressive medications.
- DO NOT cut or crush a tablet unless advised to do so. If you want more information about your medication, ask your doctor or one of the nurse coordinators.
Important Medication Tips
- Bring all of your medications to all clinic appointments.
- Bring the medication with you and take it after your blood has been drawn.
- As you become familiar with your drugs, we will begin to increase your independence by letting you take them on your own. The members of the transplant team will be happy to help you and to answer your questions whenever you wish.
General Guidelines for Storing Your Medications
- Keep your medications in their original containers since the label on the container always shows the expiration date, the prescribing doctor, the original prescription date, and the directions for taking the medication.
- Make sure the cap is on tightly.
- Store the medication containers in a cool (<80° F), dry place away from direct sunlight.
- Do not store medications in the bathroom - moisture can cause medications to lose their strength.
- Keep all medications away from children.
- Do not store medications in your car.
Medication Helpful Hints
- Learn everything you can about your medications. Consult your physician, transplant coordinator, pharmacist, support groups and educational seminars.
- Use reminder tools to help you take your medications. An alarm clock or a calendar may work for you.
- Don't be afraid to work with your transplant team to create a medication schedule that fits your lifestyle.
- Keep track of your medication supply. It is dangerous to run out of medications even for one or two doses.
- Understand your finances and insurance. Let your healthcare providers know if you are having trouble paying for your medications.
- Ask your family and friends to help. Having a support network will help make the job of taking your medications a little easier.
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USC Hepatobiliary, Pancreas and
Abdominal Organ Transplant
1450 San Pablo Street
Healthcare Consultation Center 4
Los Angeles, CA 90089
For Liver, Pancreas & Bile Duct Surgery,
please call (323) 442-7172
Fax: (323) 442-7173
For Organ Transplant Information,
Fax: (323) 442-5721