Mycophenolate Mofetil: Uses, Side Effects

Mycophenolate mofetil weakens your body’s immune system, to help keep it from “rejecting” a transplanted organ such as a kidney. Organ rejection happens when the immune system treats the new organ as an invader and attacks it.

Mycophenolate mofetil is used with other medicines to prevent organ rejection after a kidney, liver, or heart transplant.

Mycophenolate mofetil may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

 

Important Information

Mycophenolate mofetil can cause a miscarriage or birth defects when used during pregnancy. Both men and women using mycophenolate mofetil should use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy.

Mycophenolate mofetil may cause your body to overproduce white blood cells. This can lead to cancer, severe brain infection causing disability or death, or a viral infection causing kidney transplant failure.

Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms such as: fever, swollen glands, night sweats, weight loss, vomiting or diarrhea, burning when you urinate, a new skin lesion, any change in your mental state, weakness on one side of your body, problems with speech or vision, or tenderness near your transplanted kidney.

 

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to mycophenolate mofetil, mycophenolic acid (Myfortic), or to an ingredient called Polysorbate 80.

Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of mycophenolate mofetil. This medicine can affect your immune system, and may cause overproduction of certain white blood cells. This can lead to cancer, severe brain infection causing disability or death, or a viral infection causing kidney transplant failure.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • a stomach ulcer or problems with digestion;
  • hepatitis B or C;
  • phenylketonuria, or PKU (the liquid form of this medicine may contain phenylalanine); or
  • a rare inherited enzyme deficiency such as Lesch-Nyhan syndrome or Kelley-Seegmiller syndrome.

Mycophenolate mofetil can cause a miscarriage or birth defects when used during pregnancy. You will need to have a negative pregnancy test before and during treatment with this medicine. If you are able to get pregnant, you must use specific forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy while using mycophenolate mofetil, and for at least 6 weeks after your last dose.

You are considered able to get pregnant (even if you are not sexually active) from the age of puberty until you have been in menopause for at least 12 months in a row.

If you are a man, use effective birth control if your sex partner is able to get pregnant. Mycophenolate mofetil can also harm an unborn baby if the father is using this medicine. Keep using birth control for at least 90 days after your last dose.

This medicine can make birth control pills less effective. Follow all patient instructions about using effective non-hormonal forms of birth control.

If a pregnancy occurs during treatment, do not stop using mycophenolate mofetil. Call your doctor for instructions. Also call the Mycophenolate Pregnancy Registry (1-800-617-8191).

Mycophenolate mofetil is sometimes given to pregnant women. Your doctor will decide whether you should use this medicine if you are are unable to use other needed transplant medications.

You should not breast-feed while using mycophenolate mofetil.

 

Side effects

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

Mycophenolate mofetil can affect your immune system, and may cause certain white blood cells to grow out of control. Call your doctor right away if you have:

  • fever, swollen glands, painful mouth sores, cold or flu symptoms, headache, ear pain;
  • stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss;
  • weakness on one side of your body, loss of muscle control;
  • confusion, thinking problems, loss of interest in things that normally interest you;
  • pain or burning when you urinate;
  • tenderness around the transplanted kidney;
  • swelling, warmth, redness, or oozing around a skin wound; or
  • a new skin lesion, or a mole that has changed in size or color.

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

  • bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • increased blood pressure–severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears, anxiety, nosebleed; or
  • low blood cell counts–fever, chills, tiredness, flu-like symptoms, mouth sores, skin sores, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, cold hands and feet, feeling light-headed or short of breath.

Common side effects may include:

  • stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;
  • swelling in your ankles or feet;
  • rash;
  • headache, dizziness, tremors;
  • fever, sore throat, or other signs of infections;
  • low blood cell counts; or
  • increased blood pressure or heart rate.

 

Keyword: mycophenolate mofetil.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.