Antirejection drugs, the recipient’s new reality
After having a kidney transplant, recipients need to take antirejection medications (immunosuppressants) daily in accordance with their doctor’s orders.
It is important that they:
- Have a good understanding of the medications they need to take
- Familiarize themselves with the drugs’ appearance
- Know when they need to take their meds and why
These good habits help recipients remember to take their medications.
In case of emergencies, recipients should always carry an updated list of their medications, especially when visiting their doctor.
Medications and dosages need to be customized for each patient. Sometimes, following a kidney biopsy, medication changes are proposed in order to minimize the toxic side effects of some of the drugs and maximize the lifespan of the transplanted kidney.
Chronic allograft nephropathy
Chronic allograft nephropathy is when a grafted kidney begins to fail. It is the leading cause of kidney transplant failure and can happen months to years after the transplant takes place. The condition can have the following symptoms:
- Increased blood creatinine
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Proteinuria (presence of protein in the urine)
- Symptoms of uremia: fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, etc.