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:
Your doctor or transplant team might have additional ideas.
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.
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:
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.