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Immunosuppressive Medications

Immunosuppressive medications — also called anti-rejection medicine — will be given to stop your immune system from damaging the transplanted organ. 

Because these drugs decrease the activity of the immune system, they place you at increased risk for certain kinds of infections and cancers. To help prevent these problems, you will receive medications to fight infection and you will be instructed to change your dose of immunosuppressive medication to avoid toxic levels. You also will be expected to follow a strict clinic schedule, so that your blood tests and physical exam can be closely monitored.

It is important that you take the medications prescribed to you exactly at the same time every day. When you come to clinic, we will measure the amount of medication in your blood through a blood test. If you stay on the 9 am to 9 pm schedule, when you come to get your blood drawn at 8 am, we can measure the lowest amount of medication in your blood before you take your next dose. This lowest amount of medications, also known as the trough level, tells the transplant team whether the drug is toxic, therapeutic, or sub-therapeutic.