An infection caused by a fungus. There are many types of fungi; however, the three most common ones are:
• Pneumocystis Carinii (also known as Pneumocystis Jaroveci)
Use of anti-rejection medications increases the risk of this type of fungal lung infection. The risk is highest one month after transplantation and up to a year after transplantation.
To prevent this infection you will be started on an anti-infective medication called sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (Septra®; Bactrim®, Sulfatrim®). If you have a history of allergy to this medication or a “sulfa” allergy, alternative medication will be prescribed.
Candida can affect different parts of your body; however, the most common type of infection is called thrush. Thrush is an infection of the mouth; it looks like a white coating over your tongue that can cause pain, dryness and difficulty swallowing. The treatment for thrush is an oral liquid anti-fungal called nystatin. If candida affects other parts of your body you may be given an oral tablet called fluconazole.
This type of fungus usually affects the respiratory or digestive tract. It is treated with intravenous or oral anti-fungal medications (e.g. voriconazole, amphotericin B).
Remember, many medications do NOT mix well with your transplant medications. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist to check the safety of any new medication before you take it, even anti-fungals.