Medicines for After a Pediatric Liver Transplant

After aliver transplant, your child will take many medicines. These medicines are very important. They will help keep your child from rejecting his new liver and keep him in the best possible health. As time passes, your child’s liver transplant doctor may decide that some of the medicines may be decreased or stopped. Until your doctor makes any changes, give your child all of his medicines on a regular schedule.

  • Do not skip doses, even if they are several hours late.
  • Do not double doses. If your child is accidentally given the wrong dose of medicine, call the Children’s Liver Transplant coordinator to see if you need to take any action to prevent a bad reaction.
  • Call the Children’s Liver Transplant financial counselor if there are any financial concerns in getting your child’s medicines.

Examples of Medicine Your Child May Take:

Name of medicine

What it does

Immunosuppressants
tacrolimus, cyclosporine, prednisone, mychophenolate mofetil, azathioprine, sirolimus

Help prevent rejection

Blood pressure medicines (antihypertensives)
amlodipine, nifedipine

Control blood pressure and help keep it from getting too high

Antivirals
acyclovir, famciclovir, ganciclovir

Help the body fight viruses such as chicken pox

Antibiotics
ciprofaxacin, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, penicillin

Fight infections

Antipyretics
acetaminophen and aspirin

Reduce fever


Helpful Hints

Time to give medicines:

  • Ask your child’s doctor or pharmacist for the best time to take each medicine.
  • Call the Children’s Liver Transplant coordinator or your child’s doctor if your child vomits the medicine less than 30 minutes after it was taken.

Ways to give medicines:

  • Check with your child’s pharmacist or doctor to find out if your child is taking any time-released medicine. Some time-release medicine cannot be crushed or opened.
  • Some medicine can be crushed and put in a small amount of food (applesauce, ice cream, juice or flavored syrup). Use a small amount because your child may not want to finish all the food.
  • Some medicine can be crushed and put in a gel cap for older children who can swallow a capsule.

Other medicines:

  • Some over-the-counter medicine can change the effects of prescription medicines. Be sure to keep track of all medicines given to your child.
  • Ask the Children’s Liver Transplant coordinator before you give your child any medicine for coughs or colds.
  • Call the Children’s Liver Transplant coordinator if a pediatrician or other doctor starts any medicine. The pediatric liver transplant team needs to keep a complete record of all of your child’s medicine and illnesses.
  • Ask staff to call the Children’s Liver Transplant coordinator if you take your child to a local doctor or emergency department. This will help your child’s doctor deliver the best care by having a complete picture of his health.
  • Do not give your child any herbal medicine, teas, nutritional supplements or any other natural or herbal treatments without checking with your child’s liver transplant doctor or liver transplant coordinator.

If you have any questions about any medicines or treatments, please call the Children’s Liver Transplant office.

Medicine Refills

  • Call the Children’s Liver Transplant coordinator when you need medicine refilled for your child. Be sure to call a month ahead so you do not run out.
  • Call your pharmacy a few days ahead to refill your prescriptions. This ensures the pharmacy has enough medicine in stock for your child.
  • Check the bottle for the correct dose and strength each time your child’s medicine is refilled. The dose may change if the prescription is filled with a different strength tablet or a more concentrated liquid.
  • Your child needs his blood work checked often right after the liver transplant. His medicine may need to be changed based on blood work results. The Children’s Liver Transplant coordinator or doctor may contact you to change your child’s dose.
  • A refill from the pharmacy may not be the same as your child’s current dose. If you have questions about the dose of any medicine, call the Children’s Liver Transplant office or have your pharmacist contact the Children’s Liver Transplant office.
  • Some medicine needs to be approved before it can be refilled. This process may take several days.