mycophenolic acid

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mycophenolic acid

Pronunciation:MYE koe phe NOLE ik AS id

What is the most important information I should know about mycophenolic acid?

nopregDo not use mycophenolic acid if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. You will be required to use two forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy before and during your treatment with mycophenolic acid.

Mycophenolic acid is sometimes given to pregnant women who are unable to take other needed transplant medications. Your doctor will decide whether you should receive this medication.

emtTreatment with mycophenolic acid may increase your risk of developing certain life-threatening conditions, including serious infections, cancer, or transplant failure. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.

Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as: fever, swollen glands, flu symptoms, change in your mental state, problems with speech or walking, decreased vision, mouth sores, easy bruising or bleeding, pain or burning when you urinate, blood in your urine, a new skin lesion, or a mole that has changed in size or color.

What is mycophenolic acid?

Mycophenolic acid lowers your body's immune system. The immune system helps your body fight infections. The immune system can also fight or "reject" a transplanted organ such as a liver or kidney. This is because the immune system treats the new organ as an invader.

Mycophenolic acid is used to prevent your body from rejecting a kidney transplant. This medication is usually given with cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral) and a steroid medication.

Mycophenolic acid may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking mycophenolic acid?

donotYou should not use this medication if you are allergic to mycophenolic acid or mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept).
emtTaking mycophenolic acid can make it easier for you to develop serious bacterial, fungal, or viral infections, including tuberculosis, a severe brain infection, or a virus that can cause failure of a transplanted kidney.
donotMycophenolic acid may cause your body to produce too much of a certain type of white blood cells. This can lead to serious and sometimes fatal conditions, including cancer.
emtMycophenolic acid may also cause a serious viral infection of the brain that can lead to disability or death. Call your doctor right away if you have any change in your mental state, problems with speech or walking, or decreased vision. These symptoms may start gradually and get worse quickly.

Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.

To make sure you can safely take mycophenolic acid, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • a stomach ulcer or other disorders of your stomach or intestines;
  • a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection; or
  • a rare hereditary deficiency of hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl-transferase (HGPRT) such as Lesch-Nyhan and Kelley-Seegmiller syndrome.
nopregFDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby, especially if used during the first trimester of pregnancy. Do not use mycophenolic acid without telling your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Although mycophenolic acid may harm an unborn baby, not treating the mother after a transplant could pose a greater risk to the mother's health. Mycophenolic acid is sometimes given to pregnant women who are unable to take other needed transplant medications. Your doctor will decide whether you should receive this medication.

If you are a woman of child-bearing potential, you will be required to start using two forms of birth control 4 weeks before the start of your treatment with mycophenolic acid. You will also need to have a negative pregnancy test within 1 week before your treatment begins.

Unless you have been in menopause for at least 12 months in a row, you are considered to be of child-bearing potential. Adolescent girls who have entered puberty are also considered to be of child-bearing potential, even if not yet sexually active.

nopregUse two non-hormone forms of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy before and during your treatment with mycophenolic acid, and for at least 6 weeks after your treatment ends. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
bcpMycophenolic acid can make birth control pills less effective. Ask your doctor about the most effective non-hormonal forms of birth control and which two are best for you.
nobrfeedIt is not known whether mycophenolic acid passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed a baby while taking mycophenolic acid and for at least 6 weeks after your treatment ends.

How should I use mycophenolic acid?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Mycophenolic acid is usually given twice a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

icon26Take mycophenolic acid on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
nocrushDo not crush, chew, or break an enteric-coated pill. Swallow it whole. The enteric-coated pill has a special coating to protect your stomach. Breaking the pill will damage this coating.

Mycophenolic acid (Myfortic) tablets and mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept) capsules are not absorbed equally in the body. If you are switched from one brand to the other, take only the pills your doctor has prescribed. Always check your refills to make sure you have received the correct brand and type of medicine.

emtYou will need regular medical tests to be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects. Visit your doctor regularly. Do not miss any follow up visits to your doctor for blood or urine tests.
rtStore at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

emtSeek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while using mycophenolic acid?

Avoid taking an antacid together with mycophenolic acid.

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury.

nosunAvoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Mycophenolic acid can increase your risk of skin cancer. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
donotDo not receive a "live" vaccine while using mycophenolic acid. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease. You may still be able to receive a flu shot, but ask your doctor first.

What are the possible side effects of mycophenolic acid?

emtGet emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with mycophenolic acid. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as:

  • fever, flu symptoms, runny or stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, swollen glands;
  • stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss;
  • ear pain, headache;
  • white patches or sores in your mouth or throat;
  • pale skin, easy bruising or unusual bleeding;
  • confusion, change in your mental state, problems with vision, speech, memory, balance, or walking;
  • weakness in your legs, lack of coordination;
  • blood in your urine, pain or burning when you urinate;
  • swelling, warmth, redness, or oozing around a skin wound; or
  • a new bump or lesion on your skin, or a mole that has changed in size or color.
donotCall your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
  • rapid heart rate, rapid and shallow breathing, fainting;
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • bloody, black, or tarry stools;
  • thirst, increased urination, hot and dry skin;
  • chest pain, dry cough, wheezing, feeling short of breath;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • slow or uneven heart rate, weak pulse, tingly feeling, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling; or
  • pancreatitis (severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • constipation, weight gain;
  • joint or muscle pain, back pain;
  • dizziness, anxiety, sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • swelling in your hands or feet.

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 mycophenolic acid?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • cholestyramine (Questran), colesevelam (Welchol), or colestipol (Colestid);
  • acyclovir (Zovirax) or ganciclovir (Cytovene); or
  • other medicines that weaken the immune system, such as azathioprine (Imuran), or mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with mycophenolic acid. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about mycophenolic acid.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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