Transplant medications: Outpatient — what the pharmacist needs to know

Target Audience:

Pharmacists in community-based practice.

Universal program number: 0401-0000-12-011-H01-P
Activity type: Knowledge-based


To enhance the pharmacist’s knowledge of immunosuppressant medication used by patients with solid organ transplant and improve the pharmacist’s ability to provide counseling to patients taking these agents.


Today, solid organ transplantation, or SOT, is a common therapeutic option for people that are suffering from end-organ failure, although it is not without its own complications. The post-transplant patient is given an intense immunosuppressive therapy regimen to prevent complications, such as Graft Versus Host Disease. Patient and graft survival have improved substantially with the advent of new immunosuppressive agents. However, even the newest agents come with a side effect profile. With prolonged and severe immunosuppression, patients are at greater risk for infections, metabolic disease and other malignancies. This lesson will discuss trends in SOT, common complications experienced by patients post-transplant, medications used in immunosuppressive therapy regimens, a brief guide for billing transplant-related immunosuppressive agents, counseling tips to improve medication adherence in the transplant population and resources for patients and providers. The pharmacist can help patients who have undergone transplant in a number of ways, including providing education on strategies to prevent post-transplant infection and for appropriate medication use and adherence.

Learning objectives:

Upon completion of this program, the pharmacist should be able to:

  1. Discuss trends in solid organ transplantation and list the most commonly performed transplants.
  2. Explain the most common medical issues encountered in patients with organ transplants, including Graft Versus Host.
  3. Disease, post-transplant infections and post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease.
  4. Review immunosuppressant medications used to prevent organ transplant complications, including mechanism of action, drug-specific side effects, drug warnings and key drug interactions, such as interactions with OTC medications.
  5. Counsel patients and provide tips to those patients with SOT on medication adherence.
  6. List informational resources for both the patient and healthcare provider.
To obtain credit:

A minimum test score of 70% is needed to obtain credit. Submit your answers to the learning assessment questions online at Your statement of credit will be available through CPE Monitor located at To ensure transmission of credit hours to CPE Monitor, you must enter your correct e-PID number in your CE profile.

All customer service questions should be directed to (800) 933-9666.

If you are a paid enrollee, there is no cost to participate in this lesson. The fee for participants who are not enrolled is $13.95.


Drug Store News is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This CPE Activity is approved for pharmacists and is worth 2.0 contact hours (0.2 CEUs). The activity is available for CE credit through October 15, 2015.

Course summary
Credit hours: 
  • 2.00 Pharmacist
Course opens: 
Course format: 
Written Lesson
Course expires: 

By Saundra Hartmann, B.Sc., Pharm.D., Saundra’s Ink, LLC, Owner

Saundra Hartmann and the DSN editorial and continuing education staff do not have any actual or potential conflicts of interest in relation to this lesson.

Available Credit

  • 2.00 Pharmacist

Accreditation Period

Course opens: 
Course expires: 


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