Adherence to Immunosuppression: A Prospective Diary Study

E. J. Gordon*, T. R. Prohaska, M. P. Gallant, L. A. Siminoff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Immunosuppression adherence among kidney transplant recipients is essential for graft survival. However, nonadherence is common, jeopardizing graft survival. Besides skipping dosages, little is known about other forms of medication nonadherence and their underlying reasons. This study sought to examine patients' extent of medication adherence over time and reasons for nonadherence. Thirty-nine new kidney transplant recipients were asked to complete a month-long medication-taking diary that included reporting medication nonadherence such as skipped medications, medications taken early or late, taking dosages greater or less than prescribed, and the reason for each occurrence of nonadherence. Of the 20 (51%) patients who completed the diary, 11 (55%) reported at least 1 form of nonadherence. Eleven patients reported taking their immunosuppression at least 1 hour later than the prescribed time, 1 patient reported skipping medication, but no patients reported changing the dosage on their own. Immunosuppression was taken on average 1.5 hours after the prescribed time. Of those patients who took their medications late, there were on average 3.1 occasions of taking it late. The most common reasons for this behavior included health care-related issues, followed by oversleeping, being away from home, work-related barriers, and forgetting. The majority of kidney transplant recipients took medications later than prescribed during 1 month. Future research should determine the clinical impact on graft function of late administration of immunosuppression. Interventions should be designed to better assist kidney recipients with taking medications on time, especially when they are away from home.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3081-3085
Number of pages5
JournalTransplantation proceedings
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Surgery


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