Brand Name CO Mycophenolate Common Name mycophenolate mofetil
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How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Mycophenolate mofetil belongs to the group of medications known as immunosuppressants. It is used in combination with other medications to prevent the rejection of organ transplants by suppressing the body's natural defense, the immune system. It does this by preventing the formation of a certain type of white blood cell (called lymphocytes) that would normally attack the transplanted organ.
How should I use this medication?
Mycophenolate mofetil is usually started as soon as possible following the organ transplant. The dose varies according to circumstances. The dose for children following a kidney transplant is based on body surface area, which takes into account a person's height and weight.
The medication is usually given twice daily. The 2 doses should be spaced as close to 12 hours apart as possible and at approximately the same time each day. The oral medication should be taken on an empty stomach (1 hour before or 2 hours after meals). If you vomit or have diarrhea after taking mycophenolate mofetil, always call your doctor for further direction. Do not stop taking the medication without first talking with your doctor.
You should leave the capsules and tablets in the blister packs until it is time for your dose. The capsules and tablets should be swallowed whole, and not crushed or chewed.
If using the suspension, be sure to shake the closed bottle well for about 5 seconds before each use. Do not mix the suspension with any liquid. Use an oral syringe to measure each dose of the liquid, as it gives a more accurate measurement than household teaspoons.
Avoid skin contact with damaged capsules or caplets. If any powder from any of the forms of mycophenolate mofetil should get on your skin, quickly wash with soap and water. If the medication comes in contact with your eyes, rinse them thoroughly with water. Use a wet paper towel to wipe up spills.
It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for instructions. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Store mycophenolate mofetil tablets, capsules, and suspension at room temperature. Protect the tablets from light. Discard any unused portion of mycophenolate mofetil suspension 60 days after mixing.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each lavender-coloured, film-coated, capsule-shaped, biconvex tablet with "MO500" on one side and a stylized arrow logo on the other, contains 500 mg of mycophenolate mofetil. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose and povidone. Tablet film coating: lecithin, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, titanium dioxide, iron oxide black, iron oxide red, and iron oxide yellow.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take mycophenolate mofetil if you:
- are allergic to mycophenolate mofetil or any ingredients of the medication
- are pregnant
- are breast-feeding
If you are able to become pregnant, do not take mycophenolate mofetil unless you are using highly effective birth control and you have had a negative pregnancy test before starting treatment.
What side effects are possible with this medication?
- difficulty sleeping
Although most of the side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- back pain
- blood in the urine
- blood pressure changes
- fever or chills
- muscle cramps
- sore throat
- swelling of feet or lower legs
- signs of anemia (low red blood cells; e.g., dizziness, pale skin, unusual tiredness or weakness, shortness of breath)
- signs of clotting problems (e.g., unusual nosebleeds, bruising, blood in urine, coughing blood, bleeding gums, cuts that don't stop bleeding)
- signs of infection (symptoms may include fever or chills, severe diarrhea, shortness of breath, prolonged dizziness, headache, stiff neck, weight loss, or listlessness)
- stomach pain
- symptoms of a urinary tract infection (e.g., pain when urinating, urinating more often than usual, low back or flank pain)
- white patches on mouth, tongue, or throat
Seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- chest pain
- difficulty breathing
- sudden, unusual tiredness or shortness of breath
- signs of bleeding in the stomach (e.g., bloody, black, or tarry stools, spitting up of blood, vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds)
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
HEALTH CANADA ADVISORY
January 18, 2016
Health Canada has issued new restrictions concerning the use of CellCept (mycophenolate mofetil) and Myfortic (mycophenolate sodium). To read the full Health Canada Advisory, visit Health Canada's web site at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
Bronchiectasis: When mycophenolate mofetil is used in combination with other immunosuppressants, there have been rare reports of bronchiectasis. Bronchiectasis is a condition where there is injury to the walls of the airways, resulting in a decreased ability to clear mucus and an increased risk of infection. If you develop symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, or recurrent respiratory infections, let your doctor know as soon as possible.
Infection: This medication reduces the number of cells that fight infection in the body. Take extra measures to prevent infection, and avoid people with infections if at all possible. Report any signs of infection (e.g., fever, chills, sore throat, painful or difficult urination) to your doctor immediately.
Kidney function: If you have poor kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Lymphoma and other malignancies: People taking immunosuppressant medications, such as mycophenolate mofetil, are at increased risk of developing a type of cancer known as lymphoma. This risk is related to the intensity and duration of treatment with immunosuppressant medications rather than one specific medication.
Possible warning signs of cancer include a change in bowel or bladder habits, sores that don't heal, unusual bleeding, change in appearance of a wart or mole, night sweats, a nagging cough or persistent and severe headaches. If you experience any of these, let your doctor know right away. This may help to detect any cancers early in their development.
People with phenylketonuria: Mycophenolate mofetil oral suspension (liquid) contains aspartame (0.56 mg of phenylalanine per mL of suspension).
Pure red cell aplasia (PRCA): This medication may cause PRCA, a condition where the bone marrow does not make red blood cells. If you have symptoms of PRCA, such as sudden tiredness or shortness of breath, get immediate medical attention.
Stomach and intestinal problems: Since some people receiving this medication have experienced stomach bleeding, people with existing stomach and intestinal problems should be monitored closely by their doctor while taking this medication. If you notice symptoms of stomach bleeding (e.g., black, tarry stools; vomiting or spitting up blood or material that looks like coffee grounds; blood in the stools), seek immediate medical attention.
Pregnancy: Mycophenolate mofetil has been reported to cause birth defects and pregnancy loss when taken by pregnant women. It should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. Women who may become pregnant must have 2 negative urine or blood pregnancy tests before starting this medication. (The second test should be 8 to 10 days after the first test and immediately before starting treatment.) Use 2 methods of effective birth control before the start of treatment with mycophenolate mofetil, during treatment, and for 6 weeks after the medication has been stopped. Consult your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while taking this medication. Mycophenolate mofetil may make the birth control pill less effective, so a second form of contraception must always be used.
If you are a sexually active man, you should use condoms during and for 13 weeks after stopping treatment. Your partner should also use effective birth control during this time period.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if mycophenolate mofetil passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Breast-feeding is not recommended while taking this medication.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have been studied in children over the age of 2 years receiving kidney transplants. The safety and effectiveness of this medication for children with heart or liver transplants have not been established.
Seniors: Seniors may have a higher risk of side effects from this medication.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between mycophenolate mofetil and any of the following:
- acyclovir - valacyclovir
- antacids containing magnesium and aluminum
- bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG)
- calcium carbonate
- ganciclovir - valganciclovir
- oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
- penicillins (e.g., penicillin, amoxicillin, ampicillin)
- proton pump inhibitors (e.g., lansoprazole, omeprazole)
- quinolone antibiotics (e.g., ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin)
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2018. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/CO-Mycophenolate