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Mycophenolate mofetil

Mycophenolate mofetil is an immunosuppressant drug used to prevent the body from rejecting a transplanted organ. It is typically used in combination with other drugs to reduce the body’s natural immunity in patients who receive kidney, liver and heart transplants.


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  • If you can, avoid contact with people with colds or other infections.
  • While you are taking mycophenolate, it is important to maintain good dental hygiene and see a dentist regularly for teeth cleaning.

How mycophenolate mofetil works

Mycophenolate keeps down the number of white blood cells that your body makes. These white cells are the cells that could attack your new organ. This drug appears to be the most effective when used in combination with the macrolide immunosuppressant agents.

Taking mycophenolate mofetil

  • Take mycophenolate exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to explain them to you.
  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store mycophenolate away from heat and direct light. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.
  • Do not store mycophenolate in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places.
  • Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed, and talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.


If you miss a dose. When you start to take mycophenolate, ask your doctor what you should do if you forget a dose. Write down these directions so that you can refer to them later. If you miss more than one dose, it is important that you call your doctor.

Over Dosage. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Common side effects

Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • heartburn
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • vomiting
  • weakness
  • acne
  • dizziness
  • skin rash
  • trouble in sleeping

Dangerous side effects

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • abdominal pain
  • black, tarry stools
  • blood in the urine
  • bloody vomit
  • chest pain
  • cough or hoarseness
  • enlarged and/or red, bleeding gums
  • fever or chills
  • increased cough
  • irregular heartbeat
  • joint pain
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • shortness of breath
  • sores inside mouth
  • swelling of feet or lower legs
  • trembling or shaking of hands or feet
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • white patches on the mouth, tongue, or throat

Myocphenolate mofetil and pregnancy

Use of mycophenolate mofetil is not recommended during pregnancy because it is associated with an increased risk of first trimester pregnancy loss and increased risk of birth defects, especially external ear and other facial abnormalities including cleft lip and palate, and anomalies of the distal limbs, heart, esophagus and kidney. Women using mycophenolate mofetil at any time during pregnancy are encouraged to enroll in the National Transplantation Pregnancy Registry.

Since mycophenolate mofetil can cause damage to the unborn baby, female users of childbearing potential must use two separate forms of effective birth control at the same time 4 weeks before, during, and for 6 weeks after taking mycophenolate mofetil. Patients should be aware that mycophenolate mofetil may reduce blood levels of the hormones in the oral birth control pill and could theoretically reduce its effectiveness.

It is not known whether mycophenolate mofetil passes into human breast milk. However, because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from mycophenolate mofetil, breast-feeding is not recommended while you are receiving it.

Drug interactions

Before taking mycophenolate, tell your doctor if you are taking, have taken, or need to take any of the following medicines:

Antithymocyte globulin (e.g., Atgam); Azathioprine (e.g., Imuran); Chlorambucil (e.g., Leukeran); Corticosteroids, glucocorticoid (e.g., Cortef, Decadron, Deltasone, Medrol); Cyclophosphamide (e.g., Cytoxan); Cyclosporine (e.g., Neoral, Sandimmune); Mercaptopurine (e.g., Purinethol); Muromonab-CD3 (e.g., Orthoclone OKT3); tacrolimus (e.g., Prograf)

Brand names

CellCept, manufactured by Genentech, a member of the Roche Group

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