Mycophenolate mofetil (By mouth)
Mycophenolate Mofetil (mye-koe-FEN-oh-late MOE-fe-til)
Used with other medicines to keep your body from rejecting an organ transplant (heart, kidney, or liver). This medicine suppresses your immune system.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to mycophenolate or mycophenolic acid. Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How to Use This Medicine
Capsule, Liquid, 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.
- Use only the brand of this medicine that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way.
- 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, open, crush, or chew it. If a capsule opens or a tablet breaks, throw it away. Avoid getting the medicine powder on your skin or in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If this does happen, wash your skin with soap and water and rinse well. Rinse your eyes, nose, or mouth with large amounts of plain water.
- Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
- Do not mix the oral liquid with any other medicines.
- 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. Keep the medicine tightly closed. You may store the oral liquid in the refrigerator, but do not freeze it.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. The oral liquid will expire 60 days after you get it from the pharmacy. Dispose of any liquid medicine that you still have after 60 days.
- 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 acyclovir (Zovirax®), azathioprine (Imuran®), ganciclovir (Cytovene®, Vitrasert®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), sevelamer (Renagel®, Renvela?), valacyclovir (Valtrex®), valganciclovir (Valcyte®), medicine to treat an infection (such as amoxicillin/clavulanate, ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, metronidazole, norfloxacin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, Augmentin®, Bactrim?, Bactrim DS?, Biaxin®, Cipro®, Flagyl®, or Noroxin®), or medicines to treat high cholesterol (such as cholestyramine, colesevelam, colestipol, Colestid®, Questran®, Prevalite®, or Welchol®).
- If you are also using antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium (such as Maalox®), do not use them at the same time as mycophenolate. Use them 1 hour before or 2 hours after your dose of mycophenolate. If you have questions, talk with your doctor about the best times to use your medicines.
- Talk to your doctor before getting flu shots or other vaccines while you are receiving this medicine. Vaccines may not work as well, or they could make you ill while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. You must have a negative blood or urine pregnancy test before you start using the medicine to make sure that you are not pregnant. Birth control pills may not work as well while you are using this medicine. To keep from getting pregnant, use an additional form of birth control together with your pills, such as a condom, diaphragm, or contraceptive foam or jelly. Use the two forms of birth control beginning 4 weeks before you take this medicine, and continue them while you are using this medicine and for 6 weeks after your treatment ends. Tell your doctor right away if you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you have kidney disease, bone marrow problems, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers or bleeding, or a rare genetic disease called Lesch-Nyhan or Kelley-Seegmiller syndrome.
- The oral suspension contains phenylalanine. This could pose a problem if you have a condition called phenylketonuria (PKU). Talk to your doctor about this if you have questions.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
- You may be more likely to get infections while using this medicine. Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of an infection, such as fever or chills. Try to stay away from people with colds, flu, or other infections.
- This medicine may increase your risk of developing a serious brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). Call your doctor right away if you are having more than one of these symptoms: vision changes, loss of coordination, clumsiness, memory loss, difficulty with speaking or understanding what others say, or weakness in the legs.
- Using this medicine may increase your risk of getting skin cancer or cancer of the lymph system. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.
- Use a strong sunscreen (SPF-30 or higher) on your skin when you are outdoors. You should also wear a hat and cover your skin with clothing. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
- This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
- This medicine may increase your risk of developing a rare and serious virus infection called BK virus-associated nephropathy (BKVAN). The BK virus may affect how your kidneys work and cause a transplanted kidney to fail. Check with your doctor right away if you are having more than one of these symptoms: bloody urine; a decreased frequency or amount of urine; increased thirst; loss of appetite; lower back or side pain; nausea; swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs; trouble with breathing; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting; or weight gain.
- This medicine may cause pure red cell aplasia (PRCA). This is a very rare condition where the body no longer makes red blood cells and the patient has severe anemia. Check with your doctor right away if you have a fever and sore throat; pale skin; unusual bleeding or bruising; or unusual tiredness or weakness.
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
- Bloody, black, or tarry stools.
- Blurred vision or other vision changes.
- Change in how much or how often you urinate, or painful urination.
- Difficulty with speaking or understanding what others say, or memory loss.
- Dry mouth, increased thirst, or muscle cramps.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
- Loss of coordination, clumsiness, or weakness in your legs.
- Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
- Severe stomach pain, bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
- Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
- Trouble breathing, chest pain, or fast heartbeats.
- Unusual bruising, bleeding, or weakness.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, or indigestion.
- Joint or muscle pain.
- Loss of appetite.
- Runny or stuffy nose.
- Skin rash.
- Trouble with sleeping.
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
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013