CellCept Warnings and Precautions

Specific Precautions and Warnings With CellCept

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of before taking this medication include the following:
  • You should only use this medicine under the direction of a healthcare provider who has experience prescribing medications that suppress the immune system and in treating people who have had an organ transplant.
  • This medication increases your risk for developing cancer, especially skin cancer and lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). You can help reduce your risk for skin cancer by limiting your time in the sun, using sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of at least 30, and wearing protective clothing, such as hats, long pants, and long sleeves. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice signs of skin cancer or lymphoma, such as any type of skin changes or lumps in your neck, underarms, or groin area.
  • Because CellCept suppresses the immune system, it increases the risk for getting infections. You could develop potentially serious bacterial, viral, or fungal infections, including shingles, life-threatening blood infections, a brain infection known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), or an infection with the BK virus, a virus that can damage your kidneys. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any symptoms of infection, such as:
    • Weakness on one side of the body
    • Confusion or difficulty thinking
    • Fever or chills
    • A sore throat
    • Body aches
    • Sores or wounds that do not heal, are red, or ooze pus
    • Painful urination.
  • People taking this medicine may develop low blood cell counts, including low red blood cells (cells that carry oxygen throughout the body), white blood cells (cells that fight infections), and platelets (cells that help with blood clotting). You could be at risk for severe anemia, infections, and blood clotting problems. Your healthcare provider will perform blood tests to measure your blood cell counts before you take CellCept and routinely during treatment. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience problems such as:
    • Unusual bleeding or bruising
    • Signs of infection
    • Fatigue or tiredness
    • Dizziness
    • Fainting.
  • CellCept can cause bleeding in the abdomen (stomach) and intestines. Let your healthcare provider know if you develop black, tarry stools, bright-red blood in the stool, or vomiting of blood, as these could be signs of gastrointestinal bleeding.
  • You will need routine blood tests while you are taking this medicine. Make sure to keep all of your healthcare provider and laboratory appointments, as this is an important part of your treatment.
  • Certain vaccinations may be less effective during CellCept treatment (see CellCept Drug Interactions). Check with your healthcare provider before receiving a vaccine while you are taking CellCept.
  • People who are carriers for hepatitis B or hepatitis C may experience a reactivation of the virus while receiving CellCept. This can be quite serious -- potentially even fatal. If you have ever had hepatitis B or C, your healthcare provider will need to monitor you closely to make sure the virus is not becoming reactivated.
  • The oral suspension form of this medicine contains aspartame, which could be a problem in people who have phenylketonuria (PKU).
  • CellCept is a pregnancy Category D medication, which means it may harm an unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this drug during pregnancy (see CellCept and Pregnancy).
  • It is unknown if this medicine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see CellCept and Breastfeeding).

CellCept Medication Information

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