Mycophenolate (By mouth)


Mycophenolic Acid (mye-koe-fe-NOLE-ik AS-id)

Used with other medicines to keep your body from rejecting an organ transplant. This medicine suppresses your immune system.

Brand Name(s)

Cellcept, Myfortic

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to mycophenolate mofetil, mycophenolate sodium, or mycophenolic acid. Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule, Liquid, Tablet, Coated Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Take this medicine on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after you eat. Swallow the tablet or capsule whole. Do not break, crush, open, or chew. Tell your doctor if you cannot tolerate taking the medicine on an empty stomach.
  • Do not mix the oral liquid medicine with any other medicine.
  • Do not change between the regular-release form (CellCept®) and the delayed-release form (Myfortic®) of this medicine, unless your doctor tells you to. These forms do not work the same way.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Store the oral liquid at room temperature or in the refrigerator, for up to 60 days. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using azathioprine (Imuran®), sevelamer (Renegel®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), or probenecid (Benemid®). Also make sure your doctor know if you are using medicine to treat virus infections (such as acyclovir, ganciclovir, valacyclovir, valganciclovir, Cytovene®, Vitrasert®, Zovirax®, Valtrex®, Valcyte®), medicine to treat other infections (such as amoxicillin/clavulanate, ciprofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, Augmentin®, Bactrim®, Cipro®), or medicine to lower cholesterol (such as cholestyramine, colesevelam, colestipol, Welchol®). Tell your doctor if you are using both metronidazole (Flagyl®) and norfloxacin (Noroxin®).
  • Do not take an antacid that contains aluminum and magnesium, such as Gaviscon®, Maalox®, or Mylanta®, at the same time that you take your mycophenolate. Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medicine for heartburn (such as lansoprazole, omeprazole, pantoprazole, Aciphex®, Dexilant®, Nexium®, Prevacid®, Prilosec®).
  • You should not receive any live vaccines while you are using this medicine, because they may not work as well as they should. Ask your doctor before you get any vaccination, including a flu shot (made from a killed vaccine).
  • Birth control medicines may not work while you are using this medicine. Other forms of birth control include condoms, a diaphragm, contraceptive foam, or jelly. Your doctor should talk with you about birth control methods.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Women who could become pregnant: Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby or cause a miscarriage. You must have a negative pregnancy test before you start using the medicine to make sure that you are not pregnant, and you should continue to have pregnancy tests during treatment. Tell your doctor right away if you think you have become pregnant while you are being treated with this medicine.
  • Women who will need birth control: Birth control pills may not work as well while you are using this medicine. To keep from getting pregnant, use 2 forms of birth control. You should start to use birth control before you start using this medicine, then continue for your entire treatment and for 6 weeks after your treatment ends.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding or if you have kidney disease, bone marrow problems, high blood pressure, or stomach ulcers or other digestive problems. Tell your doctor if you have Lesch-Nyhan or Kelley-Seegmiller syndrome (rare genetic disorders).
  • Because this medicine affects your immune system, you may be more likely to get infections. Tell your doctor if you have any symptoms of an infection, such as fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, or vomiting. Stay away from people who are sick.
  • This medicine may increase your risk of a serious brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). Call your doctor right away if you have weakness on one side of your body, loss of coordination, clumsiness, memory problems, trouble thinking clearly, or loss of interest in things.
  • Your risk of skin cancer or cancer of the lymph system could be higher while you are being treated with this medicine. Tell your doctor if you develop swollen lymph nodes, lumps or bumps on your skin, or changes in the color or size of a skin mole. Use a strong sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) every day. Wear a hat and cover your skin when outside. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
  • This medicine may increase your risk of a rare and serious virus infection called BK virus-associated nephropathy (BKVAN). The BK virus affect your kidneys and could cause kidney failure. Tell your doctor right away if you have a change in how much or how often you urinate, blood in your urine, lower back or side pain, or unexplained weight gain or swelling.
  • This medicine could lower the numbers of blood cells in your body. Tell your doctor if you are unusually tired or have bleeding problems or bruises that you cannot explain. These could be signs of anemia or low levels of platelets. If you develop pure red cell aplasia (PRCA), you might have a fever and sore throat, pale skin, unusual bleeding or bruising, or unusual tiredness or weakness.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • The oral liquid form of CellCept® contains aspartame, which is a source of phenylalanine. Make sure your doctor knows if you have phenylketonuria.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate, painful urination, unusual swelling
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or other symptoms of infection
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
  • Severe stomach pain, bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds, bloody or black, tarry stools
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat
  • Skin cuts or scrapes that become red, swollen, or oozing
  • Skin lump or growth, brown or black patches on your skin, color or size changes to a skin mole
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Weakness on one side of the body, confusion, clumsiness, loss of interest in things, trouble thinking clearly

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Back pain
  • Mild diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, constipation

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

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