Kidneys Home > CellCept Side Effects

If you are using CellCept, it is important to be aware of potentially serious complications this medication may cause. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you develop serious CellCept side effects, such as fever, vision changes, or difficulty urinating. Some of the more common problems reported with this prescription medicine include high blood pressure, nausea, and headaches.

An Introduction to CellCept Side Effects

Just like any medicine, CellCept® (mycophenolate mofetil) can cause side effects. As with most immunosuppressant medications, the side effects can be significant. Not everyone who takes the medication will have problems; however, most people will experience side effects during treatment.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with CellCept. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Common Side Effects of CellCept

CellCept has been studied extensively in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects reported in a group of people taking CellCept were carefully documented and compared to the side effects reported in a group of people taking azathioprine (Imuran®), another anti-rejection medicine. Therefore, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the other medication.
In these studies, the most commonly reported CellCept side effects included but were not limited to:
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) -- in up to 77.5 percent of people
  • Pain -- up to 75.8 percent
  • Swelling (edema) of the legs, ankles, and feet -- up to 64.0 percent
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain -- up to 62.5 percent
  • Nausea -- up to 54.5 percent
  • Headaches -- up to 54.3 percent
  • Fever -- up to 52.3 percent
  • Insomnia -- up to 52.3 percent
  • Diarrhea -- up to 51.3 percent.
Other common side effects, occurring in 20.8 to 46.7 percent of people, included but were not limited to:
  • Increased blood glucose (blood sugar)
  • Back pain
  • Lack of energy
  • Weakness
  • Decrease in blood cell counts, including white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets
  • Increased cholesterol (fats or lipids)
  • Constipation
  • Low blood electrolytes, such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium
  • Infections
  • Breathing problems, including shortness of breath and coughing
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Abnormal kidney function
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Edema (swelling of body tissues)
  • A fast heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Blood infection (sepsis)
  • Chest pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Heart disease
  • Abnormal liver function tests
  • A rash
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Tingling, pricking, or numbing sensations of the skin.
In clinical trials, some side effects of CellCept occurred more often in children than in adults. These side effects included:
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Fever
  • Infections
  • Pain
  • Blood infection (sepsis)
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • A sore throat
  • Respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Low red blood cell count
  • Low white blood cell count.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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