Generic Name: mycophenolic acid (MYE koe phe NOLE ik AS id)
Brand Name: Myfortic
What is mycophenolic acid?
Mycophenolic acid is an immunosuppressant. Your body may "reject" an organ transplant when the immune system treats the new organ as an invader. An immunosuppressant helps to prevent this rejection.
Mycophenolic acid is used to prevent your body from rejecting a kidney transplant. This medicine is usually given with cyclosporine and a steroid medicine.
Mycophenolic acid may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about mycophenolic acid?
This medicine can cause a miscarriage or birth defects, especially if used during the first 3 months of pregnancy. If you are a woman of child-bearing potential, you must use specific types of birth control to prevent pregnancy before, during, and shortly after treatment with mycophenolic acid.
Mycophenolic acid is sometimes given to pregnant women. Although this medicine can affect pregnancy or fertility, it is sometimes given to women who are unable to use other needed transplant medications.
Using mycophenolic acid may increase your risk of developing serious infections or other types of cancer, such as lymphoma or skin cancer. You must remain under the care of a doctor while you are using mycophenolic acid.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking mycophenolic acid?
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to mycophenolic acid or mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept).
Using mycophenolic acid may increase your risk of developing serious infections or other types of cancer, such as lymphoma or skin cancer. Ask your doctor about your specific risk.
To make sure mycophenolic acid is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
a stomach ulcer or other disorder of your stomach or intestines;
a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection; or
a rare inherited enzyme deficiency such as Lesch-Nyhan syndrome or Kelley-Seegmiller syndrome.
This medicine can cause a miscarriage or birth defects, especially during the first 3 months of pregnancy. You will need to have a negative pregnancy test before and during treatment with mycophenolic acid. You must prevent pregnancy before and during your treatment with mycophenolic acid, and for at least 6 weeks after your treatment ends.
If you are a woman of child-bearing potential, you will be required to use birth control. You have child-bearing potential (even if you are not sexually active) from the age of puberty until you have been in menopause for at least 12 months in a row.
Mycophenolic acid can make hormonal birth control (pills, injections, implants, skin patches, or vaginal rings) less effective. If you use hormonal birth control, you must also use a back-up barrier method (such as a cervical sponge, a male or female condom, or a diaphragm or cervical cap used together with spermicide).
You do not need to use additional birth control if you use an intrauterine device (IUD), if you have had a tubal ligation, or if your sexual partner has had a vasectomy.
This medicine comes with patient instructions about the most effective non-hormonal forms of birth control to use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
If a pregnancy occurs during treatment, do not stop taking mycophenolic acid. Call your doctor for instructions. Also call the Mycophenolate Pregnancy Registry (1-800-617-8191).
Mycophenolic acid is sometimes given to pregnant women. Your doctor will decide whether you should use this medicine if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Although this medicine can affect pregnancy or fertility, it is sometimes given to women who are unable to use other needed transplant medications.
It is not known whether mycophenolic acid passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How should I take mycophenolic acid?
You must remain under the care of a doctor while you are using mycophenolic acid. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take mycophenolic acid on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
Do not crush, chew, or break a delayed-release tablet. Swallow it whole.
Mycophenolic acid (Myfortic) and mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept) are not absorbed equally in the body. If you are switched from one brand to the other, take only the pills your doctor has prescribed. Always check your refills to make sure you have received the correct brand and type of medicine.
You will need regular medical tests to be sure this medicine is not causing harmful effects.
If you have ever had hepatitis B or C, mycophenolic acid can cause this condition to come back or get worse. You may need blood tests to check your liver function.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take 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.
What should I avoid while taking mycophenolic acid?
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 mycophenolic acid. 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), polio, rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.
Avoid taking an antacid together with mycophenolic acid.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Mycophenolic acid can increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
Mycophenolic acid side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Mycophenolic acid can lower blood cells that help your body fight infection. This can lead to serious conditions including herpes, shingles, hepatitis, blood or tissue infections, severe brain infection causing disability or death, or a viral infection causing kidney transplant failure. Call your doctor right away if you have:
diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, weight loss;
weakness on one side of your body, loss of muscle control;
confusion, thinking problems, loss of interest in things that normally interest you;
fever, night sweats, tiredness, painful mouth sores, flu symptoms;
runny or stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, ear pain, headache;
pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums);
bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
pain or burning when you urinate;
swelling, warmth, redness, or oozing around a skin wound; or
a new bump or lesion on your skin, or a mole that has changed in size or color.
Common side effects may include:
indigestion, nausea, vomiting;
sleep problems (insomnia); or
pain after surgery.
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 mycophenolic acid?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
an antiviral medicine--acyclovir, ganciclovir.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with mycophenolic acid, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
More about Myfortic (mycophenolic acid)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about mycophenolic acid.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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