Mycophenolate: Indications, How to Use, Side Effects, Precautions and Interactions

It is an immunosuppressive medicine derived from Penicillium stoloniferum.

Mycophenolate mofetil is a prodrug of mycophenolate (MPA). After oral administration, mycophenolate mofetil is rapidly absorbed and hydrolyzed (converted) to MPA.

MPA is the active metabolite that has pharmacological activity.

Indications

Mycophenolate is used in combination with other medications to prevent your body from attacking and rejecting your transplanted organ (such as kidney, liver or heart).

It belongs to a class of medications called immunosuppressants. It works by weakening your body’s defense system (immune system) to help your body accept the new organ as if it were yours.

How to use Mycophenolate Mofetil

Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking mycophenolate. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually twice a day on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.

Swallow the entire medication. Do not crush or chew. If you are taking the capsules, do not open them before swallowing them.

If the capsule separates, avoid inhaling the powder and avoid direct contact with the skin or eyes. If a contact occurs, wash the affected area of ​​the skin thoroughly with soap and water or rinse your eyes with running water. Consult your pharmacist for more details.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, it is also based on body size.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time every day.

It is very important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking mycophenolate without first talking to your doctor.

Certain products can make it harder for your body to absorb mycophenolate if taken at the same time.

Do not take this medication at the same time as antacids containing aluminum and / or magnesium, cholestyramine, colestipol or calcium-free phosphate binders (such as aluminum products, lanthanum, sevelamer). Ask your pharmacist for more details.

Do not change the brands or forms of mycophenolate unless directed by your doctor.

Side effects

It can cause constipation, nausea, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, upset stomach, gas, tremors or trouble sleeping. If any of these effects last or worsen, inform your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he has judged it beneficial for you. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if you have any serious side effects, including: unusual tiredness, fast / irregular heartbeat, easy bleeding / bruising, swelling of the feet or ankles.

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience very serious side effects, such as abdominal / stomach pain that does not go away, black stools, vomiting that looks like coffee beans, chest pain, shortness of breath, or rapid breathing.

This medicine may increase your risk of getting a rare (but potentially serious) brain infection (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these side effects:

Clumsiness, loss of coordination / balance, weakness, sudden change in your thinking (confusion, difficulty concentrating, memory loss), difficulty in speaking / walking, seizures, changes in vision.

A very serious allergic reaction to this medication is rare.

However, seek medical attention immediately if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, which includes: rash, itching / swelling (especially on the face / tongue / throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not mentioned above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Before taking Mycophenolate mofetil, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or mycophenolic acid; or to mycophenolate sodium; or if you have any other allergies.

This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Consult your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.

Especially for cancer, liver disease (such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C), kidney disease, current / past infections (such as shingles, herpes zoster), stomach / intestinal problems (such as ulcers), rare genetic disorders (such as the Lesch-Nyhan syndromes) or Kelley-Seegmiller).

Mycophenolate can increase the chance of getting infections or worsen current infections.

Avoid contact with people who have infections that can spread to other people (such as chicken pox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more information.

You do not have immunizations / vaccines without your doctor’s consent. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as the flu shot inhaled through the nose).

To reduce the chances of cutting, hurting or injuring yourself, be careful of sharp objects such as razor blades and nail clippers, and avoid activities such as contact sports.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and herbal products).

The use of this medication during pregnancy is not recommended. It could harm an unborn baby. It is important to avoid pregnancy while taking this medication and for 6 weeks after stopping treatment with mycophenolate.

If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately. Women of childbearing potential should talk to their doctor about the benefits and risks (such as miscarriage).

Women of childbearing age should have a pregnancy test before starting this medication, after 8 to 10 days of treatment and during routine follow-up visits.

Women of childbearing age should also use reliable contraception during treatment and for at least 6 weeks after stopping treatment with mycophenolate. See also the Interactions with other medicines section.

It is not known if this medicine passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on the infant. It is not recommended to breast-feed while using this medication. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Interactions

Interactions with other medications can change how your medications work or increase the risk of serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions.

Keep a list of all the products you use (including over-the-counter and non-prescription medicines and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.

Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s approval.

Some products that may interact with this medicine include: azathioprine, rifampin, other medications that weaken the immune system / increase the risk of infection

This medication may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptive control , such as pills, patch or ring.

This could cause pregnancy. If you are using hormonal contraceptives, you should use an additional non-hormonal method of birth control while using this medication. Discuss your options with your doctor or pharmacist.

Also tell your doctor if you have any new spots or intermenstrual bleeding, because these may be signs that your contraceptive method is not working well.