U-M Kidney Transplant Recipient – Medication (6 of 7)


[ Silence ]>>Your immune system protects you by
fighting infections and foreign bodies. Your immune system will recognize
a newly transplanted organ as a foreign body and will fight against it. Medications called immunosuppressive
drugs are used to prevent your body from rejecting your newly transplanted organ. You will need to take immunosuppressive
medications for your lifetime. These medications are very expensive,
costing between $2000 and $4000 every month. You will need to work with your financial
coordinator to develop a sound insurance and financial plan to cover
the cost of these medications. As a transplant recipient, you will
begin taking new medications the day of or the day after your transplant. You will take medications to prevent rejection, to prevent infection and
other medications as well. You will need to take some combination
of medications for the remainder of your life or your kidney will fail. All medications have possible side effects. Here is a list of side effects associated
with your transplant medications. You are not likely to have all the side
effects or have them all at a high intensity. If you have any concerns
about your side effects, you should discuss your concerns
with your transplant nurse. Many of the medications must
be tapered or slowly reduced. Do not independently withdraw
from taking any medication. Discuss any concerns you have with
your transplant nurse or physician. To prevent rejections, you will take a
combination of three medications after surgery: Prednisone, which is a steroid,
Mikophenolate, Cyclosporin, or Takralemis. Due to their anti-inflammatory
and immunosuppressive properties, steroids have been a main component in the
immunosuppressive regimen for the prevention and treatment of acute rejection
after kidney transplantation. Prolonged exposure to steroids
results in significant side effects, which include worsening cholesterol
levels and high blood pressure, the development of post transplant diabetes
mellitus, weight gain and osteoporosis. While our standard protocol is
designed to minimize these effects by keeping the maintenance steroid dosage
low, some patients may be interested in an alternative steroid free approach. Not all patients qualify for
the steroid free protocol. Patients who are concerned about using
steroids are encouraged to discuss this with their transplant physician
during their appointment. Mikophenolate, Mophotyl, or
Celsept and Mikophenolate Sodium or Myphorte are medications used in
combination with Takrelemis or Cyclosporin. Their main toxicities are diarrhea
and suppression of bone marrow. These medications could cause serious
harm to a fetus if taken while pregnant. Women of child bearing ages should have
a negative pregnancy test within a week of starting this medication
and should use two forms of contraception unless abstinence
is the chosen method. They should begin the two forms of contraception
four weeks before beginning the medications continue during therapy, and for six to twelve
weeks after they stop taking the medication. If you have any questions regarding
these medications or pregnancy, please discuss it with your
transplant coordinator or physician. Valcyte is a very expensive
medication, approximately $1500 a month, which may be indicated to
treat or prevent infection. This medication may or may
not be covered by insurance. You must learn about each of your new
medications before you can be discharged from the hospital. You will need to know the drug name, the
purpose of the medication, the side effects and the dosages of each medication. The nursing staff will work with you and your
caregiver to develop a self-medication schedule. Your support person must participate
in learning about your medications. To ensure you can safely manage
your own medications at home, you and your support person will be
quizzed to demonstrate your knowledge about your medications prior to discharge. [ Silence ]