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What medications are given after a kidney transplant?

After a kidney transplant the recipient will be on immunosuppressive medication for the life of the kidney. These medications lower a person’s ability to fight off foreign objects so the body would be less likely to reject the kidney. Each person reacts differently to the medications, so each person will have different medications, doses or combinations of these medications.

Along with these new medications, there will be a few more medications that will be given for a short time only. These medications are given to prevent some of the side effects of the immunosuppressive medications.

  • Bactrim: prevents certain pneumonias
  • Cytovene/acyclovir: prevents some viral infections
  • Mycelex: prevents fungal mouth infections
  • Pepcid: prevents stomach ulcers
  • Surfak: prevents constipation

Some individuals may also need blood pressure medications and/or medications that remove extra fluid from the body. The medications are given according to each recipient’s needs and the dose or drug may change.

After transplantation, patients will need to take immunosuppressant medications to prevent rejection of the donor kidney. Patients must be diligent about adhering to their medication regimens, as they are important to the long-term success of the transplant operation. Drug regimens are tailored to the needs of each person, but usually patients take several medications to prevent rejection. These medications may make patients more susceptible to infection, particularly in the first few months when higher doses are needed. However, for the first several months to one year after transplantation, patients also take medications to prevent viral, bacterial and fungal infections.

Because one type of anti-rejection medication, corticosteroids, are associated with unwanted side effects, NewYork-Presbyterian has developed medication regimens that avoid the use of long-term steroid therapy.

You will receive antirejection medications and anti-infective agents after a kidney transplant. Some of the anti-infective agents may be stopped after a few months. You should continue taking antirejection medications for the rest of your life and comply with the instructions and recommendations of your doctors.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.