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Prograf Side Effects

Generic Name: tacrolimus

Note: This document contains side effect information about tacrolimus. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Prograf.

In Summary

Common side effects of Prograf include: opportunistic infection, diabetes mellitus, infection, headache, hyperglycemia, hyperkalemia, increased blood urea nitrogen, increased serum creatinine, mental status changes, nephrotoxicity, sensation disorder, and tremor. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to tacrolimus: oral capsule, oral capsule extended release, oral tablet extended release

Other dosage forms:

Along with its needed effects, tacrolimus (the active ingredient contained in Prograf) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking tacrolimus:

More Common

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • abnormal dreams
  • agitation
  • chills
  • confusion
  • convulsions (seizures)
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • fever and sore throat
  • flu-like symptoms
  • frequent urination
  • headache
  • itching
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of energy or weakness
  • mental depression
  • muscle trembling or twitching
  • nausea
  • pale skin
  • seeing or hearing things that are not there
  • shortness of breath
  • skin rash
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • tingling
  • trembling and shaking of the hands
  • trouble sleeping
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting

Less Common

  • Blurred vision
  • chest pain
  • increased sensitivity to pain
  • muscle cramps
  • numbness or pain in the legs
  • ringing in the ears
  • sweating


  • Enlarged heart
  • flushing of the face or neck
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • weight loss

Incidence Not Known

  • Black, tarry stools
  • blistering, peeling, loosening of the skin
  • bloating
  • bloody urine
  • constipation
  • cough
  • drowsiness
  • fainting
  • fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • heartburn
  • increased thirst
  • indigestion
  • joint or muscle pain
  • lightheadedness
  • lower back or side pain
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • pounding or rapid pulse
  • red skin lesions, often with a purple center
  • red, irritated eyes
  • skin sores
  • ulcers or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • weakness
  • weight gain
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects of tacrolimus may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More Common

  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • difficulty with moving
  • lack or loss of strength
  • muscle pain or stiffness

Less Common

  • Body aches or pain
  • burning or stinging of the skin
  • cracks in the skin
  • crying
  • delusions
  • dementia
  • depersonalization
  • dysphoria
  • euphoria
  • excessive muscle tone
  • feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • feeling that others are watching you or controlling your behavior
  • feeling that others can hear your thoughts
  • increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
  • large, flat, blue or purplish patches in the skin
  • loss of strength or energy
  • muscle tension or tightness
  • painful blisters on the trunk of the body
  • painful cold sores or blisters on the lips, nose, eyes, or genitals
  • paranoia
  • quick to react or overreact emotionally
  • rapidly changing moods
  • redness or other discoloration of the skin
  • restlessness
  • scaly skin
  • sensation of spinning
  • severe mood or mental changes
  • severe sunburn
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • sore mouth or tongue
  • sores on the skin
  • swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  • tender, swollen glands in the neck
  • unusual behavior
  • white patches in the mouth, tongue, or throat

Incidence Not Known

  • Change in color vision
  • decreased weight
  • difficulty seeing at night
  • feeling hot and cold
  • hearing loss
  • sudden sweating

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to tacrolimus: intravenous solution, oral capsule, oral capsule extended release, oral tablet extended release


Some of the most commonly reported side effects include hypertension, diarrhea, hyperglycemia, anemia, headache, tremor, insomnia, pain, and asthenia.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Hypertension (up to 89%), peripheral edema (up to 36%), chest pain (up to 19%), pericardial effusion (up to 15%)

Frequency not reported: Angina pectoris, bradycardia, cardiac fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, cardiopulmonary failure, deep thrombophlebitis, ECG abnormalities, echocardiogram abnormalities, heart rate decreased, hemorrhage, hypotension, myocardial hypertrophy, peripheral vascular disorder, phlebitis, QT prolongation, tachycardia, thrombosis, Torsade de Pointes, vasodilation[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea (up to 72%), nausea (up to 46%), constipation (up to 36%), vomiting (up to 29%), dyspepsia (up to 28%)

Frequency not reported: Abdomen enlarged, duodenitis, dysphagia, esophagitis, flatulence, gastritis, gastroesophagitis, gastrointestinal (GI) hemorrhage, GI perforation, ileus, oral moniliasis, pancreatic pseudocyst, peritonitis, rectal disorder, stomatitis, ulcerative esophagitis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Hyperglycemia (up to 70%), hypophosphatemia (up to 49%), hypomagnesemia (up to 48%), hyperkalemia (up to 45%), anorexia (up to 34%), hyperlipidemia (up to 34%), hypokalemia (up to 29%)

Frequency not reported: Abnormal healing, acidosis, alkalosis, appetite increased, bicarbonate decreased, dehydration, gout, hypercalcemia, hypercholesterolemia, hyperphosphatemia, hyperuricemia, hypervolemia, hypocalcemia, hypoglycemia, hyponatremia, hypoproteinemia, lactic dehydrogenase increased, weight gain[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Anemia (up to 65%), leukopenia (up to 48%), leukocytosis (up to 32%), thrombocytopenia (24%)

Frequency not reported: Coagulation disorder, ecchymosis, hematocrit increased, hemoglobin abnormal, hypochromic anemia, polycythemia, prothrombin decreased, serum iron decreased

Postmarketing reports: Agranulocytosis, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolytic anemia, hemolytic-uremic syndrome, neutropenia, pancytopenia, pure red cell aplasia, thrombocytopenic purpura, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (up to 64%), tremor (up to 56%), paresthesia (up to 40%), dizziness (up to 19%), fatigue (up to 16%)

Frequency not reported: Amnesia, aphasia, convulsion, encephalopathy, hemorrhagic stroke, hypertonia, incoordination, monoparesis, myoclonus, nerve compression, nervousness, neuralgia, neuropathy, paralysis flaccid, psychomotor skills impaired, quadriparesis, seizures, somnolence, vertigo, writing impaired

Postmarketing reports: Coma, dysarthria, posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES), progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Insomnia (up to 64%)

Frequency not reported: Abnormal dreams, agitation, anxiety, confusion, crying, depression, emotional lability, hallucinations, mental status changes, mood elevated, nightmares, psychosis, thinking abnormal

Postmarketing reports: Mutism[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Pain (up to 63%), asthenia (up to 54%), fever (up to 48%)

Frequency not reported: Abscess, accidental injury, chills, ear pain, fall, feeling abnormal, generalized edema, hernia, otitis media, sepsis, temperature intolerance, tinnitus, ulcer[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Serum creatinine increased (up to 45%), BUN increased (up to 30%)

Frequency not reported: BK nephropathy, hydronephrosis, renal failure, toxic nephropathy, tubular necrosis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Pleural effusion (up to 36%), dyspnea (up to 29%), atelectasis (up to 28%), cough increased (18%), bronchitis (17%)

Frequency not reported: Asthma, emphysema, hiccups, lung disorder, pharyngitis, pneumonia, pneumothorax, pulmonary edema, rhinitis, sinusitis, voice changes

Postmarketing reports: Interstitial lung disease[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Liver function tests abnormal (up to 36%)

Frequency not reported: Cholangitis, cholestatic jaundice, GGT increased, granulomatous hepatitis, hepatitis, jaundice[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Pruritus (up to 36%), rash (up to 24%)

Frequency not reported: Alopecia, cellulitis, hirsutism, photosensitivity, sweating[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Urinary tract infection (up to 34%), oliguria (up to 19%)

Frequency not reported: Albuminuria, bladder spasm, cystitis, dysuria, hematuria, nocturia, pyuria, urge incontinence, urinary frequency, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, vaginitis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Cytomegalovirus infection (up to 12%)

Frequency not reported: Flu syndrome[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Epstein-Barr virus associated lymphoproliferative disorder, hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma, leukemia, lymphoma, melanoma, post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD)[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Arthralgia, generalized spasm, joint disorder, leg cramps, mobility decreased, myasthenia, myalgia, osteoporosis

Postmarketing reports: Rhabdomyolysis[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Allergic reaction[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Abnormal vision, amblyopia[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

3. "Product Information. Prograf (tacrolimus)." Fujisawa, Deerfield, IL.

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.