Mycophenolate is used in combination with other medications to keep your body from attacking and rejecting your transplanted organ (such as kidney, liver, heart). It belongs to a class of medications called immunosuppressants. It works by weakening your body's defense system (immune system) to help your body accept the new organ as if it were your own.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking mycophenolate and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. Swallow the medication whole. Do not crush or chew. If you are taking the capsules, do not open them before swallowing. If the capsule comes apart or if there is dust from the tablets, avoid inhaling the powder or dust, and avoid direct contact with the skin or eyes. If contact occurs, wash the affected skin area well with soap and water or rinse your eyes with plain water. Consult your pharmacist for details. Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets or powder from the capsules. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, it is also based on body size. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. It is very important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Do not stop taking mycophenolate without first talking to your doctor. Certain products may make it harder for your body to absorb mycophenolate if they are taken at the same time. Do not take this medication at the same time as antacids containing aluminum and/or magnesium, cholestyramine, colestipol, or calcium-free phosphate binders (such as aluminum products, lanthanum, sevelamer). Ask your pharmacist for more details. Do not change brands or forms of mycophenolate unless directed by your doctor.
See also Warning section. Constipation, nausea, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach upset, gas, tremor, dizziness, drowsiness, or trouble sleeping may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: unusual tiredness, fast/irregular heartbeat, easy bleeding/bruising, swelling of the feet or ankles. Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: stomach/abdominal pain that doesn't go away, black stools, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, chest pain, shortness of breath/rapid breathing. This medication may increase your risk of getting a rare but very serious (possibly fatal) brain infection (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy-PML). Get medical help right away if you have any of these side effects: clumsiness, loss of coordination/balance, weakness, sudden change in your thinking (such as confusion, difficulty concentrating, memory loss), difficulty talking/walking, seizure, vision changes. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
See also How to Use section. Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: other drugs that weaken the immune system/increase the risk of infection (such as natalizumab, rituximab). This medication may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring. This could cause pregnancy. If you are using hormonal birth control, you should use an additional non-hormonal form of birth control while using this medication. Discuss your options with your doctor or pharmacist. Also tell your doctor if you have any new spotting or breakthrough bleeding, because these may be signs that your birth control is not working well.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.