Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Myfortic

Descriptions


Mycophenolate belongs to a group of medicines known as immunosuppressive agents. It is used with other medicines to lower the body's natural immunity in patients who receive kidney transplants.

When a patient receives an organ transplant, the body's white blood cells will try to get rid of (reject) the transplanted organ. Mycophenolate prevents the white blood cells from rejecting the transplanted organ.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Tablet, Enteric Coated

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of mycophenolate in children 5 years of age and older who had a kidney transplant at least 6 months before. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 5 years of age.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of mycophenolate in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving mycophenolate.

Pregnancy

Information about this mycophenolate-sodium-oral-route
Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters D Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.

Breastfeeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Activated Charcoal
  • Adenovirus Vaccine Type 4, Live
  • Adenovirus Vaccine Type 7, Live
  • Aluminum Carbonate, Basic
  • Aluminum Hydroxide
  • Aluminum Phosphate
  • Azathioprine
  • Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin Vaccine, Live
  • Cholestyramine
  • Colesevelam
  • Colestipol
  • Cyclosporine
  • Dihydroxyaluminum Aminoacetate
  • Dihydroxyaluminum Sodium Carbonate
  • Influenza Virus Vaccine, Live
  • Magaldrate
  • Magnesium Carbonate
  • Magnesium Hydroxide
  • Magnesium Oxide
  • Measles Virus Vaccine, Live
  • Mumps Virus Vaccine, Live
  • Poliovirus Vaccine, Live
  • Rotavirus Vaccine, Live
  • Rubella Virus Vaccine, Live
  • Smallpox Vaccine
  • Typhoid Vaccine
  • Varicella Virus Vaccine
  • Yellow Fever Vaccine

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Desogestrel
  • Dienogest
  • Drospirenone
  • Estradiol Cypionate
  • Estradiol Valerate
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Ethynodiol Diacetate
  • Etonogestrel
  • Iron
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate
  • Mestranol
  • Norelgestromin
  • Norethindrone
  • Norgestimate
  • Norgestrel
  • Valacyclovir

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Bone marrow problems (eg, neutropenia) or
  • Hepatitis B or C infection, history of or
  • Stomach ulcers or bleeding—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Infection—May decrease your ability to fight an infection.
  • Kelley-Seegmiller syndrome (rare genetic disease) or
  • Lesch-Nyhan syndrome (rare genetic disease)—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Kidney disease, severe—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. Taking too much may increase the chance of side effects, while taking too little may lead to rejection of your transplanted organ.

This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach, either 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Swallow the delayed-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.

Use only the brand of this medicine that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way.

If you are also using antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium (such as Maalox® or Mylanta®), do not use them at the same time as mycophenolate. If you have questions, talk with your doctor about the best times to use your medicines.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (delayed-release tablets):
    • For kidney transplants:
      • Adults—720 milligrams (mg) two times a day.
      • Teenagers and children 5 years of age and older—Dose is based on body size as determined by the doctor. The dose is 400 milligrams (mg) per square meter [m(2)] two times a day, up to a maximum dose of 720 mg two times a day.
      • Children younger than 5 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. Your doctor will do blood tests to make sure that mycophenolate is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. If you are a woman who can bear children, your doctor may give you a pregnancy test before you start using this medicine and 8 to 10 days after using this medicine to make sure you are not pregnant. Your birth control pills may not work as well while you are using this medicine. You must use two forms of birth control together for the entire time that you are being treated, and for 6 weeks after you receive your last dose of this medicine. Use birth control pills together with another form of birth control, such as a condom, diaphragm, or contraceptive foam or jelly. If you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine, tell your doctor right away.

Using this medicine may increase your risk of getting skin cancer or cancer of the lymph system (lymphoma). Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.

Use sunscreen or sunblock lotions with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 on a regular basis when you are outdoors. Wear protective clothing and hats and stay out of direct sunlight, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.

Mycophenolate can temporarily lower the number of white blood cells in your blood, which increases the chance of getting an infection. If you can, avoid people with infections. Check with your doctor immediately if you think you are getting an infection or if you have a fever or chills, cough or hoarseness, lower back or side pain, or painful or difficult urination.

This medicine may increase your risk of developing a serious and rare brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). Check with your doctor right away if you are having more than one of these symptoms: vision changes, loss of coordination, clumsiness, memory loss, difficulty speaking or understanding what others say, and weakness in the legs.

This medicine may increase your risk of developing rare and serious virus infections, such as shingles, herpes, cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, BK virus-associated nephropathy (BKVAN), or polyoma virus-associated nephropathy (PVAN). CMV can cause serious tissue and blood infections. The BK virus may affect how your kidneys work and cause a transplanted kidney to fail. Check with your doctor right away if you are having more than one of these symptoms: bloody urine, a decreased frequency or amount of urine, fever, increased thirst, loss of appetite, lower back or side pain, nausea, painful cold sores or blisters, sore throat, swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs, trouble breathing, unusual tiredness or weakness, vomiting, or weight gain.

This medicine may cause reactivation of hepatitis B or C infection. Check with your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms while using this medicine: dark-colored urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, yellow skin or eyes.

Mycophenolate may cause pure red cell aplasia (PRCA). This is a very rare condition where the body no longer makes red blood cells and the patient has severe anemia. Check with your doctor right away if you have a fever and sore throat, pale skin, unusual bleeding or bruising, or unusual tiredness or weakness.

While you are using this medicine, and after you stop, do not have any immunizations (vaccinations) without your doctor's approval. Mycophenolate will lower your body's resistance and there is a chance you might get the infection the immunization is meant to prevent.

Do not stop taking this medicine without checking first with your doctor. Doing so may cause rejection of your transplanted organ. Your doctor will decide how long you should take this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine 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:

More common

  1. Abdominal or stomach pain or cramps
  2. black, tarry stools
  3. bladder pain
  4. bleeding gums
  5. bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  6. blood in the urine or stools
  7. blurred vision
  8. body aches or pain
  9. bone pain
  10. burning or stinging of the skin
  11. chest pain
  12. cloudy urine
  13. confusion
  14. constipation
  15. convulsions
  16. cough
  17. decrease in the amount of urine
  18. decreased frequency or amount of urine
  19. depression
  20. difficult, burning, or painful urination
  21. dizziness or lightheadedness
  22. drowsiness
  23. dry mouth
  24. ear congestion
  25. fainting
  26. fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  27. fever or chills
  28. flushed, dry skin
  29. frequent urge to urinate
  30. fruit-like breath odor
  31. headache
  32. incoherent speech
  33. increase in heart rate
  34. increased blood pressure
  35. increased hunger
  36. increased thirst
  37. increased urination
  38. joint pain, stiffness, or swelling
  39. loss of appetite
  40. loss of consciousness
  41. loss of voice
  42. lower back, side, or stomach pain
  43. metallic taste
  44. muscle cramps in the hands, arms, feet, legs, or face
  45. muscle spasms or twitching
  46. muscle weakness
  47. nausea or vomiting
  48. nervousness
  49. noisy, rattling breathing
  50. numbness and tingling around the mouth, fingertips, hands, or feet
  51. painful blisters on the trunk of the body
  52. painful cold sores or blisters on the lips, nose, eyes, or genitals
  53. pale skin
  54. pinpoint red spots on the skin
  55. rapid breathing
  56. red, tender, or oozing skin at incision
  57. runny nose
  58. sneezing
  59. sore throat
  60. sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  61. sunken eyes
  62. sweating
  63. swelling
  64. swollen glands
  65. thirst
  66. tightness in the chest
  67. tremor
  68. trouble breathing at rest or with exertion
  69. unusual bleeding or bruising
  70. unusual tiredness or weakness
  71. unusual weight gain or loss
  72. weakness or heaviness of the legs

Some side effects 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

  1. Acid or sour stomach
  2. anxiety
  3. back pain
  4. belching
  5. bleeding gums
  6. blemishes on the skin
  7. bruising
  8. diarrhea
  9. difficulty moving
  10. excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  11. facial hair growth in females
  12. full feeling
  13. full or round face, neck, or trunk
  14. heartburn
  15. increased hair growth, especially on the face
  16. increased thirst or urination
  17. indigestion
  18. irritability
  19. irritation in the mouth
  20. itching skin
  21. loose stools
  22. loss of sexual desire or ability
  23. menstrual irregularities
  24. muscle pains or stiffness
  25. pain
  26. pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  27. passing gas
  28. pimples
  29. redness and swelling of the gums
  30. shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  31. sleeplessness
  32. sore mouth or tongue
  33. stomach discomfort or upset
  34. trouble sleeping
  35. upper abdominal or stomach pain
  36. white patches in the mouth or on the tongue

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.