Generic Name: mycophenolate mofetil (MYE-koe-FEN-oh-late MOE-fe-til)
Brand Name: CellCept
Mycophenolate mofetil weakens your immune system, which may decrease your ability to fight illness or infection. It may also increase the risk of certain types of cancer (eg, lymphoma). Use mycophenolate mofetil only under close medical supervision. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments while taking mycophenolate mofetil.
Mycophenolate mofetil may cause birth defects or fetal death if taken during pregnancy. Women who may become pregnant must use acceptable birth control methods while they are taking mycophenolate mofetil. Your doctor must talk with you about acceptable birth control methods to use while you are taking mycophenolate mofetil.
Mycophenolate mofetil is used for:
Preventing organ rejection following kidney, liver, or heart transplants. Mycophenolate mofetil is used in combination with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Mycophenolate mofetil is an immunosuppressant. It works by decreasing the activity of certain cells that make up part of the immune system to help reduce the risk of organ transplant rejection.
Do NOT use mycophenolate mofetil if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in mycophenolate mofetil or to mycophenolic acid
- you are taking azathioprine, cholestyramine, colestipol, or another medicine that contains mycophenolate or mycophenolic acid
- you are taking norfloxacin and metronidazole together
- you have a rare hereditary deficiency of hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl-transferase (HGPRT), such as Lesch-Nyhan syndrome or Kelley-Seegmiller syndrome
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using mycophenolate mofetil:
Some medical conditions may interact with mycophenolate mofetil. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are able to become pregnant
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have immune system problems or have been taking another medicine that may suppress your immune system
- if you have stomach or bowel problems (eg, ulcers), or kidney problems
- if you have fair skin or if you have a personal or family history of skin cancer, blood cancer (eg, lymphoma), or other blood problems
- if you are scheduled for a vaccination
- if you will be in close contact with a person who has shingles, another type of herpes infection, or cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with mycophenolate mofetil. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Acyclovir, azathioprine, ganciclovir, mycophenolic acid, probenecid, valacyclovir, or valganciclovir because they may increase the risk of mycophenolate mofetil's side effects
- Amoxicillin plus clavulanic acid, cholestyramine, ciprofloxacin, colestipol, norfloxacin along with metronidazole, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) (eg, lansoprazole), rifamycins (eg, rifampin), or sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim because they may decrease mycophenolate mofetil's effectiveness
- Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) because their effectiveness may be decreased by mycophenolate mofetil
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if mycophenolate mofetil may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use mycophenolate mofetil:
Use mycophenolate mofetil as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Mycophenolate mofetil comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get mycophenolate mofetil refilled.
- Take mycophenolate mofetil by mouth on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
- Swallow mycophenolate mofetil whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
- If you cannot swallow mycophenolate mofetil whole, check with your doctor. You may need a different doseform of mycophenolate mofetil.
- If you take antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium, do not take them at the same time as mycophenolate mofetil. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to take them with mycophenolate mofetil.
- If you take sevelamer, take it 2 hours after taking mycophenolate mofetil.
- Do not stop taking mycophenolate mofetil or change the dose unless your doctor tells you to.
- If you miss a dose of mycophenolate mofetil, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once. Check with your doctor if you are not sure what to do.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use mycophenolate mofetil.
Important safety information:
- Mycophenolate mofetil may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use mycophenolate mofetil with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Women who may become pregnant must have a pregnancy test immediately before starting mycophenolate mofetil and another pregnancy test 8 to 10 days later. Pregnancy tests should also be repeated during regular doctor visits. Talk with your doctor about the results of all your pregnancy tests.
- Women who may become pregnant must use acceptable birth control methods while taking mycophenolate mofetil and for 6 weeks after they stop mycophenolate mofetil. Your doctor must talk with you about acceptable birth control methods to use while you are taking mycophenolate mofetil.
- Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) may not work as well while you are taking mycophenolate mofetil. If you take hormonal birth control while you are taking mycophenolate mofetil, you must also use another form of birth control (eg, condoms). Talk to your doctor about other birth control methods that you can use while taking mycophenolate mofetil.
- Mycophenolate mofetil may increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer (eg, lymphoma, skin cancer). Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths while you take mycophenolate mofetil. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time. Tell your doctor right away if you notice a change in the size or color of a mole or if you develop any new or unusual skin growths.
- Mycophenolate mofetil may lower the ability of your body to fight infection and may increase the risk of severe or fatal infections. Avoid contact with people who have colds, shingles, other herpes infections, CMV, or other infections. Tell your doctor right away if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
- Some patients treated with mycophenolate mofetil have developed severe and sometimes fatal infections, such as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) or severe kidney problems associated with BK virus infection. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms of PML (eg, confusion or disorientation; you do not care about things that you usually care about; changes in thinking, strength, or vision; one-sided weakness; trouble walking or talking; loss of balance or coordination).
- Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms of kidney problems (eg, change in the amount of urine produced, difficult or painful urination, blood in the urine). In kidney transplant patients, BK virus infection may cause loss of the transplanted kidney. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- Some patients treated with mycophenolate mofetil have developed a type of anemia called pure red cell aplasia (PRCA). Contact your doctor right away if you experience severe or persistent tiredness or weakness, sluggishness, or unusually pale skin.
- Mycophenolate mofetil may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
- Diarrhea may occur with mycophenolate mofetil. If you develop diarrhea, check with your doctor or pharmacist about ways to lessen this effect. Do not stop mycophenolate mofetil without talking with your doctor.
- Do not change brands or doseforms (eg, tablets, suspension, injection) of mycophenolate mofetil without talking with your doctor.
- Do not receive a live vaccine (eg, measles, mumps) while you are using mycophenolate mofetil. Talk with your doctor before you receive any vaccine.
- Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts and kidney function, may be performed while you use mycophenolate mofetil. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use mycophenolate mofetil with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially infection, stomach or bowel bleeding, and trouble breathing.
- Caution is advised when using mycophenolate mofetil in CHILDREN; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Mycophenolate mofetil may cause birth defects or fetal death if you take it while you are pregnant. Do not become pregnant while you are taking mycophenolate mofetil. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. If you plan to become pregnant, talk with your doctor. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking mycophenolate mofetil.
Possible side effects of mycophenolate mofetil:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Anxiety; back pain; constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; headache; loss of appetite; mild stomach pain; mild tiredness or weakness; nausea; tremor; trouble sleeping; upset stomach; vomiting.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blood in the urine; bloody or black stools; burning, numbness, or tingling; change in the amount of urine produced; change in the size or color of a mole; chest pain or pounding in the chest; ear pain; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; mental or mood changes (eg, abnormal thinking); night sweats; severe or persistent headache or dizziness; severe or persistent diarrhea, vomiting, or stomach pain or upset; shortness of breath; sluggishness; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; swollen glands; symptoms of infection (eg, fever, chills, cough, runny nose, sore throat); symptoms of urinary tract infection (eg, difficult, frequent, or painful urination; lower stomach or back pain); unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual or persistent tiredness or weakness; unusual skin lumps or growths; unusual weight loss; unusually pale skin; vision changes; vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds; warm, red, swollen, or painful skin; white patches in the mouth or throat; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include diarrhea; fever, chills, or sore throat; nausea; stomach pain or upset; vomiting.Proper storage of mycophenolate mofetil:
Store mycophenolate mofetil at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep mycophenolate mofetil out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about mycophenolate mofetil, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Mycophenolate mofetil is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take mycophenolate mofetil or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about mycophenolate mofetil. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to mycophenolate mofetil. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using mycophenolate mofetil.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More about mycophenolate mofetil
- Mycophenolate mofetil capsules
- Mycophenolate mofetil solution
- Mycophenolate mofetil suspension
- Mycophenolate mofetil
- Mycophenolate Intravenous (Advanced Reading)
- Mycophenolate mofetil (Advanced Reading)
- Other brands: CellCept