The use of medication should always be discussed with your general practitioner or MDL doctor.
If you have any questions about the effect, the prescribed time and the amount, you can ask the person who prescribed the medicines, as well as the pharmacist. Never stop a medication without talking to the doctor who prescribed it; stopping can cause an increase in symptoms or cause dangerous situations.
Always report changes in medicines to the liver transplant nursing consultant, even if, for example, you receive a generic medicine from your online pharmacy to replace a branded product. See this website for current information.
Paracetamol is the appropriate remedy for pain. In case of severe pain you can use tramadol in consultation with your doctor or paracetamol in combination with codeine. Other painkillers (so-called NSAIDs) are not recommended and can only be prescribed in consultation with the transplant center, because they can cause harmful side effects in combination with other medicines. For example, these drugs can worsen the functioning of the kidneys.
You always take medicines with liquid, for example water, unless they are chewable tablets or drink. If you take the medicines ‘dry’, absorption in the body slows down and the stomach lining can become irritated. Take the medicines in an upright position and do not take them lying down. If you have a hard time swallowing the medicines, taking the medicines with cold water or cold applesauce may help. Cold products improve the swallowing reflex and reduce the risk of choking. Another tip is to keep the chin on the chest while swallowing.
Time of day
It is important that you take the medicines at a fixed time of the day. You can take your lifestyle into account and adjust the medication times accordingly. However, it is important to distribute the intake of medicines as evenly as possible throughout the day. This is better for the effect of the drug.
Taking the medicines as prescribed is extremely important to your health. For example, if you regularly forget the anti-rejection medicines or take them at widely varying times, the donor liver may slowly start to reject. You do not feel it at first when rejection occurs. Rejection can develop very gradually and only show through blood tests after a few weeks. Often a higher amount of medication must be given to allow the liver to recover, sometimes even hospitalization is necessary.
Headache and dizziness
The nervous system and brain are also sensitive to drugs. As a result, headaches and dizziness are common side effects. If the symptoms are severe or persist for a long time, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Addiction and habituation
Medicines that affect mood, in particular, can be addictive. They make you feel better psychologically. But if you can no longer do without it, there is an addiction.
Usually, help is needed to overcome drug addiction. Your pharmacist can support you with this. However, this can only be done at your own request and in consultation with your doctor. Habituation means that over time the body needs more and more of the drug for the same effect.