Liver Transplant Medications

While you are in the hospital recovering from your surgery, our pharmacists and nurses will teach you and at least one family member about all your medications. We will review with you the purpose, dosage and possible side effects of each medicine. All transplant patients take immunosuppressants to help prevent rejection of their new organ. Most people take a combination of three immunosuppressants.

Many patients will require additional medication for their blood pressure and to replace magnesium. Other medications will be prescribed based on patients' individual needs.

Disclaimer: The product images are intended as a guide only. Reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made that up-to-date images will be available for every drug.

The appearance of any medication is subject to change. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor or pharmacist.

Common Immunosuppressant Agents

MEDICATIONACTIONADDITIONAL INFORMATIONPOTENTIAL ADVERSE EFFECTS
(*denotes most commonly seen; often dose dependent)

Tacrolimus (Prograf)

image0.5 mg
image1 mg
image5 mg

*Inhibits cytokine production (including IL2)

*Blocks cell division

*Target level 8-14ng/ml depending on interval post transplant

*renal dysfunction, *HTN, headache, tremors,
*decreased mg++, gallstone formation,
*elevated cholesterol, glucose intolerance

Cyclosporine-Sandimmune and Neoral, Gengraf (or generic equivalent)
not interchangable

Gengraf
image 25mg
image100mg

Neoral
image 25mg
image100mg

*Primarily T-lymphocyte selective

*Inhibits responsiveness of killer T-cells to Interleukin II

* Replaces Prograf when efficacy, absorption or tolerance is a problem.

* Metabolized by the liver

*Dosed according to 12 hour trough blood levels and renal function; target level 300-400 ng/ml depending on interval post transplant

*renal dysfunction, *HTN, headache, tremors, hirsutism, *decreased mg++, gallstone formation, *elevated cholesterol, gingival hyperplasia

Mycophenolate Mofetil (Cellcept)

image250mg
image500mg

*Inhibits purine synthesis

*Effective on both T & B lymphocytes

* Used as triple immunosuppressive therapy or as and adjunctive immunosuppressant in rejection episodes.

* Dosed at 2 grams daily in two divided doses.

* leukopenia, nausea and abdominal distress

Daclizumab (Zenapax)

image

* Humanized monoclonal antibody that specifically inhibits T-cell mediated immune responses.

* Inhibits IL-2 mediated activation of lymphocytes.

* Used if induction therapy is indicated within 24 hours of transplant.

* Dosed at 1mg/kg given IV.

* Gastrointestinal toxicity, edema, glucose intolerance, tremor, headache, dizziness, fatigue.

* Hypersensitivity reactions

Sirolimus
(Rapamune, Rapamycin)

image1mg
image2mg

*Macrocyclic lactone, inhibits IL II signal transduction

*Effective on both T & B lymphocytes

*Dosing based upon trough level

*Target level 8-12 ng/ml

thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, anemia, *hyperlipidemia

Methylprednisolone
(Prednisone)

image1mg
image2.5mg
image5mg
image10mg
image20mg

*Anti-inflammatory properties

Weaned to a low daily dosage based upon rejection-free biopsies

osteoporosis, hyperglycemia, *fluid retention, GI distress, *increased BP, cushingoid effect, *increased appetite



Other Common Post-Transplant Medications
(treating the side effects of immunosuppressants)

MEDICATIONACTIONDOSING RECOMMENDATIONS

Acyclovir
image
200mg

Herpes Prophylaxis

Take twice a day for 6 months post-transplant.

Bactrim DS
image
160mg

Bactrim SS
image
80 mg

Prophylaxis for pneumocystis pneumonia in patients on higher doses of immunosuppression early post-transplant

Prescribed 1 tab QMWF for 1 year post transplant; continued at 3X/wk dosing for all patients on methotrexate and rapamycin (dapsone substituted if patient allergic to sulfa)

Ciprofloxacin

Antibacterial prophylaxis given for biliary complications.

Prescribed 500mg pill twice a day, avoid giving with products that contain calcium.

Fluconazole

Antifungal prophylaxis – given daily for candidates with high-risk of having biliary complications.

Prescribed 200 mg tablet daily for two to three months.

Calcium Channel Blocker – Norvasc/Procardia

New onset hypertension

Doses should be maximized before starting second line therapy.

Clonidine Tablets

Second-line therapy for hypertension

Beta Blockers – labetalol or propranolol

Third-line therapy for hypertension

Pravachol
image
20mg

Treatment of drug induced hyperlipidemia. Prescribed as a result of data showing reduction in 12-month rejection in transplant recipients. *Preferred statin choice due to reduced incidence of myositis and rhabdomyolysis when used in conjunction with cyclosporine or Prograf.

Prescribed initially at 20 mg QHS.

H2 blocker

GI protection from effects of steroids

BID dosing