CellCept

Pronunciation

Generic Name: mycophenolate mofetil (MYE koe FEN oh late MOE fe til)
Brand Names: CellCept

What is CellCept?

CellCept (mycophenolate mofetil) lowers your body's immune system. The immune system helps your body fight infections. The immune system can also fight or "reject" a transplanted organ such as a liver or kidney. This is because the immune system treats the new organ as an invader.

CellCept is used to prevent your body from rejecting a kidney, liver, or heart transplant. This medication is usually given with cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral) and a steroid medication.

CellCept may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

CellCept can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects, especially if used during the first trimester of pregnancy. Do not use if you are pregnant.

If you are a woman of child-bearing potential, you will be required to use two forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy before and during your treatment with CellCept, and for at least 6 weeks after your treatment ends. You will also need to have a negative pregnancy test within 1 week before you start using this medication.

Slideshow: 2014 Update: First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while using CellCept.

Although CellCept can cause harm to an unborn baby, not treating the mother after a transplant could pose a greater risk to the mother's health. CellCept is sometimes given to pregnant women who are unable to take other needed transplant medications. Your doctor will decide whether you should receive this medication.

Using CellCept can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. You may also have an increased risk of cancer. Your blood will need to be tested on a weekly or monthly basis while using this medication. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Do not open the CellCept capsule or crush or chew a tablet. Do not use a pill that has been accidentally broken. The medicine from a crushed or broken pill can be dangerous if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin.

Before using CellCept

You should not use CellCept if you are allergic to mycophenolate mofetil, mycophenolic acid (Myfortic), or to an ingredient called Polysorbate 80.

To make sure you can safely use CellCept, tell your doctor if you have other medical conditions, especially:

  • a stomach ulcer or other disorder of your stomach or intestines;

  • kidney disease;

  • a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection; or

  • Lesch-Nyhan and Kelley-Seegmiller syndrome.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use CellCept if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby, especially if used during the first trimester of pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

If you are a woman of child-bearing potential, you will be required to start using two forms of birth control 4 weeks before the start of your treatment with CellCept. You will also need to have a negative pregnancy test within 1 week before treatment.

Unless you have been in menopause for at least 12 months in a row, you are considered to be of child-bearing potential. Adolescent girls who have entered puberty are also considered to be of child-bearing potential, even if not yet sexually active.

CellCept can make birth control pills less effective. Use two non-hormone forms of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy before and during your treatment with CellCept, and for at least 6 weeks after your treatment ends.

Although CellCept can cause harm to an unborn baby, not treating the mother after a transplant could pose a greater risk to the mother's health. CellCept is sometimes given to pregnant women who are unable to take other needed transplant medications. Your doctor will decide whether you should receive this medication.

It is not known whether mycophenolate mofetil passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use CellCept without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

The liquid form may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of CellCept if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

How should I use CellCept?

Use CellCept exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

The injection form of this medication is injected into a vein through an IV. CellCept must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take at least 2 hours to complete.

CellCept injection is usually given within 24 hours after your transplant. You may be given the injection for up to 14 days before you switch to the oral (pill) form of CellCept. The oral form is usually given twice a day. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Take oral CellCept on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Do not open the CellCept capsule or crush or chew a tablet. Do not use a pill that has been accidentally broken. The medicine from a crushed or broken pill can be dangerous if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin. If this occurs, wash your skin with soap and water or rinse your eyes with water. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to safely handle and dispose of a broken tablet or capsule.

CellCept can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. You may also have an increased risk of certain forms of cancer. Your blood may need to be tested on a weekly or monthly basis. Visit your doctor regularly.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using CellCept. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Store CellCept at room temperature away from moisture and heat. The liquid medicine may be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Throw away any unused liquid that is older than 60 days.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using CellCept. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), oral polio, rotavirus, smallpox, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

Avoid using antacids without your doctor's advice. Use only the type of antacid your doctor recommends. Some antacids can make it harder for your body to absorb CellCept.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. CellCept can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

CellCept side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to CellCept: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using CellCept and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness, trouble breathing, fast heart rate;

  • bloody, black, or tarry stools;

  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • painful or difficult urination;

  • chest pain;

  • feeling like you might pass out;

  • problems with vision, speech, balance, or memory; or

  • weakness in your legs, lack of coordination.

Less serious CellCept side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, or constipation;

  • headache, mild weakness;

  • swelling in your hands or feet;

  • numbness or tingly feeling; or

  • anxiety, sleep problems (insomnia).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect CellCept?

If you also take sevelamer (Renagel, Renvela), take it at least 2 hours after you take CellCept.

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • azathioprine (Imuran);

  • cholestyramine (Questran);

  • antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro, Ciloxan, Proquin), amoxicillin and clavulanate (Augmentin), metronidazole (Flagyl), norfloxacin (Noroxin), rifampin (Rifater, Rifamate, Rimactane, Rifadin), or sulfa drugs (Bactrim, Septra, Sulfatrim, SMX-TMP);

  • acyclovir (Zovirax), ganciclovir (Cytovene), valacyclovir (Valtrex), or valganciclovir (Valcyte); or

  • stomach medicines such as dexlansoprazole (Dexilant), esomeprazole (Nexium, Vimovo), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid), pantoprazole (Protonix), rabeprazole (AcipHex).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with CellCept. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about CellCept.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use CellCept only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.01. Revision Date: 2012-10-10, 9:56:00 PM.

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