Pediatric transplant recipients are on multiple prescription and non-prescription drugs. Many patients also use dietary, nutritional, and herbal supplements. This manuscript researched formulations of immunosuppressive drugs currently available and presents information on generic immunosuppressive drugs, commonly used non-prescription medications, dietary supplements, and herbal supplements. Immunosuppressive drugs are available in various formulations. Not all formulations are interchangeable. A number of FDA-approved generic formulations are available commercially in the United States. Generally generic formulations produce similar blood concentration vs time profiles compared to brand name products in adults and are considered to be bioequivalent. NSAID should be avoided in transplant patients due to potential drug interactions and increased risk associated with NSAID use; and appropriate doses of acetaminophen should be used for treatment of pain. Over-the-counter medications, such as guaifenesin and dextromethorphan, antihistamine medications, including diphenhydramine, loratadine, cetirizine, and fexofenadine, can be safely used in pediatric solid organ transplant population. Many safe and effective over-the-counter options exist for stool softening and as laxative. Diarrhea can lead to an increase in calcineurin inhibitor levels. Food can alter the absorption of immunosuppressive drugs. Several herbal products can alter immune status of the patients or alter the blood concentration of immunosuppressive drugs or may produce renal or hepatic toxicities and should be avoided in pediatric transplant recipients. It is important to educate pediatric transplant recipients and their families about not only immunosuppressive drug therapy but also about non-prescription drugs, dietary, and herbal supplement use.
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