Mycophenolic Acid: Contraindications, Dosage, Side Effects, Pregnancy and Interactions with Other Medications

Definition:

It is a prescription anti-rejection medication that is used to suppress the body’s immune system after a kidney transplant.

How does mycophenolic acid work?

Mycophenolic acid prevents the immune response to foreign substances in the body by preventing certain types of white blood cells from multiplying.

It works to control the response of your immune system to the transplanted organ and is administered together with other agents that suppress the immune system.

You should always take mycophenolic acid exactly as prescribed and in the prescribed dose. It is best that mycophenolic acid be taken on a regular schedule with respect to dosage and meals.

Precautions

Mycophenolic acid should always be taken on an empty stomach, either 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. Swallow your tablets whole. Do not crush, chew, or cut your medication before you take it.

You should not substitute mycophenolic acid for any other medication without your doctor’s approval, since the enteric coating of mycophenolic acid causes it to be absorbed differently in your system.

You should not take mycophenolic acid if you are allergic to mycophenolate sodium, mycophenolate mofetil or any other component of the tablet. If you need to know the inactive ingredients, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Dosage

If you miss a dose When you start taking mycophenolic acid, ask your doctor what to do if you forget.

Write these instructions so you can consult them later. If you miss more than one dose, it is important that you call your doctor. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

In case of overdose, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Symptoms of an overdose of mycophenolic acid may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and unusual bleeding or bruising.

Common side effects

Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Infection of the upper respiratory tract.

Dangerous side effects

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • An allergic reaction (difficulty breathing, closing of the throat, swelling of the lips, tongue or face or hives).
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Pain or difficulty urinating.
  • Black, bloody or tarry stools or blood in the vomit.
  • Severe nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • A sudden unusual sensation of discomfort or illness.

Treatment with mycophenolic acid can increase your risk of infection and the development of lymphoma and other types of cancer.

Notify your doctor immediately if you have a fever or chills, sore throat, unusual bleeding or bruising, sores in your mouth, abdominal pain, pale stools, or darkened urine. These symptoms can be early signs of dangerous side effects.

Patients who take mycophenolic acid are monitored regularly to detect a condition called neutropenia. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop infections, unexpected bruising, or bleeding.

Mycophenolic acid and pregnancy

The use of mycophenolic acid during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of loss and congenital malformations.

Therefore, patients of childbearing age should use an effective contraceptive method before starting mycophenolic acid therapy, during treatment and for 6 weeks after stopping treatment.

Women who use mycophenolic acid at any time during pregnancy are encouraged to enroll in the Transplant Pregnancy Registry.

It is not known if mycophenolic acid passes into breast milk. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Interactions with other medications

Check with your doctor before starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medication while you are taking mycophenolic acid. If you see a new doctor for a condition, be sure to tell them that you are taking mycophenolic acid.

Are there other precautions or warnings for this medicine?

Before you start using a medication, be sure to tell your doctor about any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, and any other important health information.

These factors can affect the way you should use this medicine:

Contraindications

Bronchiectasis: When mycophenolic acid is used in combination with other immunosuppressants, there have been rare reports of bronchiectasis.

Bronchiectasis is a condition in which injuries occur in the walls of the respiratory tract, which results in a decrease in the ability to clear mucus and an increased risk of infection.

If you develop symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath or recurrent respiratory infections, inform your doctor as soon as possible.

Infection: This medication reduces the number of cells that fight infections in the body. Take extra steps to prevent infections, and avoid being around people with infections if possible.

Report any signs of infection (for example, fever, chills, sore throat, pain or difficulty urinating) to your doctor immediately.

Kidney function: If you have poor kidney function, talk to your doctor about how this medicine may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosage and effectiveness of this medicine, and if any special monitoring is needed.

Lymphoma and other malignancies: people who take immunosuppressant medications, such as mycophenolic acid, have an increased risk of developing a type of cancer known as lymphoma.

This risk is related to the intensity and duration of treatment with immunosuppressant drugs instead of a specific medication.

Possible cancer warning signs include a change in bowel or bladder habits, sores that do not heal, unusual bleeding, change in the appearance of a wart or mole, night sweats, persistent cough, or persistent and severe headaches.

If you experience any of these symptoms, tell your doctor immediately. This can help detect cancers early in their development.

Pure red cell aplasia (PRCA): This medicine can cause PRCA, a condition in which the bone marrow does not make red blood cells. If you have symptoms of PRCA, such as sudden tiredness or difficulty breathing, get immediate medical attention.

Stomach and bowel problems: Because some people who get this medication have experienced stomach bleeding, people with stomach and intestinal problems should be monitored closely by their doctor while taking this medication.

Lactation: It is not known if mycophenolic acid passes into breast milk. If you are a nursing mother and you are taking this medication, it can affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breastfeeding.

Children: The safety and efficacy of this medication for children with heart or liver transplants have not been established.

Older people : older people may have a higher risk of side effects of this medication.