Kidneys Home > Precautions and Warnings With Mycophenolate
- Mycophenolate must be taken under the supervision of a healthcare provider who has experience prescribing medications that suppress the immune system and in treating people who have received an organ transplant.
- This drug weakens your immune system, which can make it more difficult for your body to fight infections. You could become infected with potentially serious fungal, bacterial, or viral 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 develop signs of an infection, such as:
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Confusion or difficulty thinking
- Sore throat
- Muscle or joint aches
- Sores or wounds that do not heal, are red, or ooze pus
- Painful urination.
- Like other immunosuppressants, mycophenolate may increase your risk for developing skin cancer and lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). Your risk may be even higher if you take a combination of immunosuppressant medicines, or take the medicine for a long time. You should limit your time in the sun during treatment, and wear sunscreen and protective clothing while outside. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice any skin changes or develop lumps in your neck, underarms, or groin area.
- 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). This could increase your risk for severe anemia, infection, and blood clotting problems.
Contact your healthcare provider if you experience:
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Signs of infection
- Fatigue or tiredness
- People taking this medicine will need routine blood tests during treatment to monitor for side effects. Make sure to keep all your healthcare and laboratory appointments, as these are an important part of your treatment.
- Mycophenolate can cause bleeding in the 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.
- Certain vaccinations may not be as effective in people taking mycophenolate (see Drug Interactions With Mycophenolate). Check with your healthcare provider before getting any vaccination or immunization while taking this medication.
- Mycophenolate mofetil oral suspension contains aspartame, which could be a problem in people who have a condition known as phenylketonuria (PKU).
- Mycophenolate may react with a number of other medications (see Drug Interactions With Mycophenolate for more information).
- 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 Mycophenolate and Breastfeeding).
- This product is considered a pregnancy Category D medication, which means it may harm an unborn baby if taken during pregnancy. If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider before taking this drug (see Mycophenolate and Pregnancy).