Skip to main content

CellCept

Generic name: mycophenolate mofetil (oral/injection) (MYE koe FEN oh late MOE fe til)
Brand name: CellCept
Drug class: Selective immunosuppressants

Medically reviewed by Kaci Durbin, MD. Last updated on Mar 8, 2021.

What is CellCept?

CellCept (mycophenolate mofetil) weakens your body's immune system, to help keep it from "rejecting" a transplanted organ such as a kidney. Organ rejection happens when the immune system treats the new organ as an invader and attacks it.

CellCept is for use with a liver or heart transplant in adults.

CellCept is also for use with kidney transplants in adults and children at least 3 months old.

CellCept is used with other medicines containing cyclosporine and corticosteroids.

Warnings

Cellcept can cause a miscarriage or birth defects when used during pregnancy. Both men and women should use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy during and shortly after treatment with CellCept.

Using CellCept may increase your risk of cancer, serious infections, or kidney transplant failure.

Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms such as: fever, swollen glands, weight loss, vomiting or diarrhea, painful urination, a new skin lesion, any change in your mental state, weakness on one side of your body, or pain near your transplanted kidney.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use CellCept if you are allergic to mycophenolate mofetil, mycophenolic acid, or polysorbate 80.

Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of CellCept. This medicine may increase your risk of cancer, serious or fatal infections, or a viral infection that can cause kidney transplant failure.

To make sure CellCept is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • a stomach ulcer or problems with digestion;

  • diabetes;

  • hepatitis B or C or other viral infection (may become active or get worse while you are using mycophenolate mofetil);

  • phenylketonuria, or PKU (the liquid form of this medicine may contain phenylalanine); 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 this medicine. If you are able to get pregnant, you must use specific forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy while using CellCept, and for at least 6 weeks after your last dose.

Sexually active men and their partners should use effective contraception during treatment and for at least 90 days after the last dose.

CellCept can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about using an additional barrier form of birth control (condom, diaphragm, cervical cap, or contraceptive sponge) to prevent pregnancy.

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 CellCept. Call your doctor for instructions. Also call the Mycophenolate Pregnancy Registry (1-800-617-8191).

CellCept is sometimes given to pregnant women. Your doctor will decide whether you should use this medicine if you are unable to use other needed transplant medications.

You should not breastfeed while using mycophenolate mofetil.

How should I use CellCept?

Take CellCept exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

You must remain under the care of a doctor while you are using this medicine.

CellCept injection is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

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

Swallow the capsule or tablet whole and do not crush, chew, break, or open it. Tell your doctor if you have trouble swallowing a tablet or capsule.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) before you measure a dose. Use only the dosing syringe provided with this medicine.

Mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept) and mycophenolic acid (Myfortic) are not absorbed equally in the body. Avoid medication errors by using only the brand, form, and strength of this medicine that your doctor has prescribed.

You will need frequent medical tests.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use. Throw away any unused liquid that is older than 60 days.

The liquid medicine may also be stored in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if your next dose is due in less than 2 hours. Do not use two doses at one time.

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 using mycophenolate mofetil?

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

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

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using CellCept. The vaccine may not work as well and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

You must not donate blood or sperm while using this medicine, and for at least 6 weeks (for blood) or 90 days (for sperm) after your last dose.

CellCept side effects

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

Mycophenolate mofetil may cause a serious brain infection that can lead to disability or death. Call your doctor right away if you have problems with speech, thought, vision, or muscle movement. These symptoms may start gradually and get worse quickly.

Mycophenolate mofetil affects your immune system and may increase your risk of cancer or serious infection. Call your doctor right away if you have:

  • fever of 100.5 degrees F or higher, swollen glands, painful mouth sores, cold or flu symptoms, headache, ear pain;

  • stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, 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;

  • pain around the transplanted kidney;

  • pain or burning when you urinate;

  • dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • tingly or painful blistering rash on one side of your body;

  • swelling, warmth, redness, or oozing around a skin wound; or

  • a new skin lesion, or a mole that has changed in size or color.

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; or

  • low blood cell counts - fever, chills, tiredness, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath.

Common CellCept side effects may include:

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.

What other drugs will affect CellCept?

If you take sevelamer or an antacid, take your oral CellCept dose 2 hours before you take these other medicines.

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines. Many drugs can interact with mycophenolate mofetil, especially:

This list is not complete and many Other drugs may interact with mycophenolate mofetil. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.