Steps to Keep Your Transplanted Kidney healthy

Posted On Apr 17, 2022 |

Different ways to keep a healthy kidney after a successful transplant.

  1. Schedule regular healthcare visits
  2. Take all your medications every day and at the same time as instructed
  3. Discuss any medication concerns or side effects with your transplant team
  4. Eat healthy
  5. Get regular exercise
  6. Keep a healthy weight
  7. Ask how you can lower your chances for high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, or infection Become an active member of your healthcare team

Eating HealthyMost people with a kidney transplant have few dietary restrictions, but it's important to eat a healthy diet. In general, you should eat a heart- healthy diet (low fat, low salt) and drink plenty of fluids. If you have diabetes or other health problems, you may still have some dietary restrictions. A dietitian can help you plan meals that are right for you. Your Healthcare VisitsIt is important to take care of your overall health with your transplant. Having routine health screenings will help guide your care. You will also need regular blood tests to help find out how well your kidney is working, and to watch the levels of immunosuppressive medications. This will also help find any possible problems early, when treatment works best. You and Your Healthcare TeamGood healthcare is always a team effort—especially when you have a transplant. The people on your healthcare team help you most when you work with them as part of the team. You do that by sharing your concerns, asking questions, and by learning as much as you can about your transplant. Remember, you are the most important part of the team! Your Daily Medication ScheduleLiving with daily medications often means creating new habits so you can remember to take your medications in a way that fits into your routine. Talk to your transplant team if you are having difficulty sticking to your medication schedule. In addition, here are some common barriers to taking medication and ways to overcome them:

Barriers To Daily MedicationTo Overcome Barriers
I forget to take my medication, especially if:
  • I am busy doing other things
  • I can't remember whether I've taken them already
  • I fall asleep or oversleep
  • Something interrupts my routine like a phone call or visit
  • It is a holiday or celebration
  • Nobody reminds me
It's hard for me to take my medications:
  • On time
  • When others can notice me taking them
  • When it is inconvenient to do so
I forget to bring them with me when I leave home
  • Post a medication calendar in sight showing the days/times to take them
  • Use a pillbox, app, mobile phone, or watch with an alarm
  • Place medications where they are visible (but out of reach of children or pets)
  • Schedule your medications at the same time as regular daily routines
  • Keep a small supply of medication in your purse or briefcase, at your desk at work, or other helpful places

Common Immunosuppressants

Generic NameTips
Tacrolimus
  • Avoid grapefruit juice because it affects how the medication is broken down in the liver
Cyclosporine
  • Avoid grapefruit juice because it affects how the medication is broken down by the liver
Prednisone
  • Best to take with food to avoid stomach upset
Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF)
  • Take by mouth on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.
Sirolimus
  • Avoid grapefruit juice because it affects how the medication is broken down by the liver
Everolimus
  • Avoid grapefruit juice because it affects how the medication is broken down by the liver
Belatacept
  • Available as an IV infusion only
  • Dosing schedule depends on time after transplant but are usually given every four weeks
Azathioprine
  • none

Note: Different tacrolimus, cyclosporine, and mycophenolate products are not interchangeable.

Categories: Transplant, Kidney, Disease

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