Medical Information

Helping You Prevent Rejection

After receiving a transplant, it’s hard not to worry about organ rejection. But there are steps you can take in order to reduce your chance of rejection.

Stay on top of your medications

To help prevent your body from attacking your new organ, your doctor will prescribe anti-rejection medicines, also known as immunosuppressants.

The most important thing you can do to prevent rejection is to take your medications as they were prescribed. Your doctor will decide the amount of medication that’s needed to help prevent rejection. And he or she will continually monitor your blood levels and adjust your medications to make sure you’re getting the amount of medicine that’s right for you.

It’s vital to be consistent with your medications. That means taking them the same way, the same time, every day to ensure your transplanted organ is getting the medicine it needs around the clock. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions about taking your medication with or without food.

Even if you’re feeling well, you still need to take your medications. Never miss a dose. If you do miss a dose or stop taking your medications, call a member of your transplant team right away for instructions on what to do.

Follow these tips to help ensure your transplant gets the medicine it needs:

  • Use My Health Resource from Astellas Cares whenever you have a question about your medications, treatment or progress.
  • Use a calendar to schedule your dosage times, and check them off after you take your medications.
  • Organize your daily medications in a pill box.
  • Set an alarm to make sure you take your medications at the same time every day.
  • Link your medication times with a daily activity, such as brushing your teeth.
  • When traveling, be aware of new time zones and take your medications at the same times that you would normally take them at home.
  • Download the MyMedSchedule® Mobile app for free. You can use it to set medication reminders and manage your medication schedule.
  • Store your medications properly.

Your doctor or transplant team might have additional ideas.

Make your appointments a priority

Regular visits to the doctor’s office are also critical to making sure you are doing well. These appointments will help your transplant team follow your progress, make sure your medications are working, and watch for early warning signs of side effects or rejection. It’s important that your transplant team finds out if there are any problems early, so you can be treated before the problems become more serious.

Know the signs of rejection

Rejection can happen any time, even years after your transplant.

It’s important to be aware of any changes your body goes through post transplant. Some signs of rejection you should look out for are:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Pain at the transplant site
  • Feeling unwell
  • Fever
  • Swelling
  • Change in weight
  • Change in heart rate
  • Urinating less often
  • Shortness of breath

If you notice any of these changes or if something doesn’t feel right, talk to your doctor immediately. Acute rejection may occur. Sometimes, acute rejection can develop into chronic rejection, which is where your organ slowly fails over time. But often times, signs of rejection may mean your medication needs to be adjusted, not that your body is rejecting your new organ. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore any symptoms.

My Health Resource

Get a free downloadable packet with useful information for your post transplant experience—plus tips and tools to help keep you on track.

Join Now