General Tips on Medications

  • Learn everything you can about your medications. A review of the names of common medications, what they do, and side effects can be found in our patient and caregiver section. When in doubt, it is always best to ask your transplant team or pharmacist for more information.


  • Capsule medications should always be swallowed whole- never crushed or chewed to allow for proper absorption.


  • Keep all extra medications in their original labeled containers.


  • Always check with your transplant team before taking any new medications, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.


  • Wear a medical alert bracelet that states you are a transplant recipient and take steroid and immunosuppressant medications, in case you are in an accident and are found unconscious.


  • Let your transplant team know in advance that you are running low on a prescription medication and that you need a refill, so that you never run out of any medication. Each transplant center will have specific instructions on requesting refills in a timely and efficient manner.


  • Carry a list of your medications with you at all times


  • Try to purchase all your medications at one pharmacy to keep things easier on yourself and this allows your pharmacist to monitor any drug interactions. If you do use multiple pharmacies, be sure each pharmacist understands all medications you are on even if you are not obtaining them from that particular pharmacy. This is so they can make sure the medications they are giving you do not interact with one another.


  • Limit your sun exposure and always wear sunscreen. Some medications you are on post-transplant can increase the risk of sun poisoning and skin cancer.


  • Do not take all of your medications at once for convenience. The medications are spaced the way they are to make sure there are proper drug levels in your body.


  • Always take at least two weeks of extra medication with you on a trip.


  • Never pack your medication in your luggage, always take it with you on a plane, in a train, bus etc.



Tips About Organizing Your Medications

To keep your medication schedule from interrupting your daily routine, plan ahead, organize your time and consider the following:

  • To help organize your medicines, use tools such as a pillbox that has individual compartments labeled with the days of the week and times of the day (such as MORN, NOON, EVE, BED).

  • Try this extra-large pill organizer from Amazon


  • Use an alarm clock, watch, phone application, or charts to remind you of the times for medicines.



  • Ask your transplant team to help set up your medicine times to fit your schedule.


  • Set up a time each week to organize your medicines for the whole next week.


  • Get into a routine. Take your medications at the same time each day.


  • Keep track of how much medicine you have left. Don’t ever run out, even one dose.


  • Mark your calendar so you remember to reorder your medications ahead of time.


  • You may want to have a family member or friend help you sort out and reorder your pills.


  • Keep your medication in a cool dry place, out of the sun and extreme heat. Some medications may need to be kept in the refrigerator.

General Tips on Medications