Transplant candidates often take many medications each day. Here are ways to make sure you know how to best manage your medications and their side effects as part of your daily life. If you feel overwhelmed, talk with your doctor and support groups to learn about what has helped other patients make post-transplant changes.
- Get into a routine of taking your medications at the same time each day.
- Set up a time each week to sort out your medicines for the whole next week and put them into containers.
- Having family and friends help you sort your pills will make this job easier.
- Use tools to help organize your medicines. For example, a pill box, small snack baggies labeled with days of the week and times of the day, an alarm clock or watch and/or charts may work for you.
- Because you should never run out of your medicine, even for one dose, it is important to keep track of how much you have.
- Mark your calendar so you remember to order your medications ahead of time.
- Keep your medications out of the sun and extreme heat.
- Always store your medications in a cool, dry place.
General medication tips
- Keep all medications out of the reach of children.
- Always check with you transplant team before taking any new medicines, even the ones you buy over-the-counter.
- If any medicine is soft, sticky, hard or cracked or has a notably different color or odor, it is important to talk with your pharmacist about replacing it with a new prescription.
- Always swallow capsules whole and never take them crushed, chewed or opened.
- Ask your pharmacist about the medications should never be taken with grapefruit juice.
- In case you are ever in an accident and are unconscious, it is important to keep a list of your medications with you at all times. For example, wear a bracelet or necklace that states you are a transplant patient and keep a list of all your medications and doses in your wallet or purse.
- Because many pharmacies keep a profile of your medications to prevent causing harmful medication interaction, it may be helpful to buy all your medicines from the same pharmacy.
- Always take extra doses of your medications with you–not in your luggage–in case you get delayed or miss a plane or train, etc.
- Mail order pharmacies can ship your medicines to you when you are away from home.
- When traveling overseas and passing through customs, keep a letter from your doctor about your medications.
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is committed to providing accurate and reliable information for transplant patients. The content on this page was originally created on August 15, 2003 by UNOS and last modified on October 10, 2016.
This Web site is intended solely for the purpose of electronically providing the public with general health-related information and convenient access to the data resources. UNOS is not affiliated with any one product nor does UNOS assume responsibility for any error, omissions or other discrepancies.