Learning to Care for Yourself
You will have many things to remember when you leave the hospital. Taking an active role in your self-care and developing a daily routine while you are in the hospital will help you better care for yourself after you go home.
One of the most important things you will learn on Farr 10, under the guidance of our experienced nurses, doctors and other staff members, is how to take care of yourself safely.
Your role as a member and a partner of the transplant team becomes more important than ever at this point because your new liver will need a lot of care, attention, and monitoring to do its job. Having a new liver is a life-long commitment!
Learning about Your Meds
Your transplant team will decide what medications are right for you. You will have to take immunosuppressive medication to prevent the rejection of the transplanted liver. You will take these medications for as long as you have a functioning liver transplant.
In addition to the immunosuppressants, you will also have to take medications to prevent infection, although you will not have to take these medications for long. You may also need medications after your transplant to help control your blood pressure and cholesterol.
The team will adjust your meds in the hospital and will continue to monitor their effectiveness after discharge. We will teach you the names and basic effects of each drug you need to take. Remember, taking your medications is your responsibility. If you are unable to take your medications at home for some reason, you must call the Transplant Center.
These medications suppress the immune system enough to keep the transplanted liver healthy. The three main categories of medication include induction immunosuppression, maintenance immunosuppression and rescue therapy for the treatment of rejection:
- Induction immunosuppression is the initial high dose medication, both intravenous and oral, that you take in the first 1 to 2 weeks after your transplant.
- Maintenance immunosuppressants are also started while you are in the hospital. You will continue on these medications in order to prevent your body from rejecting the liver transplant over time.
- Rescue therapy for the treatment of rejection is typically given as an intravenous medication while in the hospital.
For more information about transplant medication, visit the American Society of Transplantation (AST) Web site:
www.a-s-t.org, under the patient education section.