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All about: CellCept oral/injection

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Generic Name: mycophenolate mofetil (oral/injection) (my ko FEN o layt MO fe til)
Brand Names: CellCept

What is mycophenolate mofetil?

Mycophenolate mofetil lowers your body's immune system. The immune system helps your body fight infections. The immune system can also fight or "reject" a transplanted organ such as a liver or kidney. This is because the immune system treats the new organ as an invader.

Mycophenolate mofetil is used to prevent your body from rejecting a kidney, liver, or heart transplant. This medication is usually given with cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral) and a steroid medication.

Mycophenolate mofetil may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about mycophenolate mofetil?

This medication can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. You may also have an increased risk of certain forms of cancer. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Mycophenolate mofetil products may contain phenylalanine. Tell your doctor if you have pheynlketonuria (PKU), or if you otherwise need to restrict your intake of phenylalanine.

Mycophenolate mofetil has caused birth defects in animals, and there may be a similar risk in humans. Do not use mycophenolate mofetil if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. To make sure you are not pregnant before using mycophenolate, you may need to have a pregnancy test within 1 week before your treatment starts.

Unless you have had a hysterectomy, you must use effective birth control to keep from getting pregnant while using this medication. Birth control is recommended even if you have have been infertile (unable to get pregnant) in the past. Use two effective non-hormonal forms of birth control (condoms, diaphragm, or spermicides) while you are using mycophenolate mofetil and for at least 6 weeks after your treatment ends.

Do not open the medicine capsule or crush or chew a tablet. Do not use a pill that has been accidentally broken. The medicine from a crushed or broken pill can be dangerous if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin. If it does come in contact with these areas, wash your skin with soap and water or rinse your eyes with water. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to safely handle and dispose of a broken tablet or capsule.

If you need to have any type of surgery, you may need to temporarily stop using mycophenolate mofetil. Be sure the surgeon knows ahead of time that you are using this medication.

Mycophenolate mofetil may increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Limit exposure to sunlight and UV light by wearing protective clothing and using a sunscreen with a high protection factor (SPF).

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using mycophenolate mofetil?

Before using mycophenolate mofetil, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a stomach ulcer or other disorders of your stomach or intestines;

  • an allergy to a drug preservative called polysorbate 80 (also called Tween) if you are going to be treated with mycophenolate mofetil injection;

  • kidney disease;

  • a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection; or

  • a rare hereditary deficiency of hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl-transferase (HGPRT) such as Lesch-Nyhan and Kelley-Seegmiller syndrome.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use mycophenolate mofetil, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Mycophenolate mofetil products may contain phenylalanine. Tell your doctor if you have pheynlketonuria (PKU), or if you otherwise need to restrict your intake of phenylalanine.

Mycophenolate mofetil has caused birth defects in animals, and there may be a similar risk in humans. Do not use mycophenolate mofetil if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. To make sure you are not pregnant before using mycophenolate, you may need to have a pregnancy test within 1 week before your treatment starts.

Unless you have had a hysterectomy, you must use effective birth control to keep from getting pregnant while using this medication. Birth control is recommended even if you have have been infertile (unable to get pregnant) in the past. Use two effective non-hormonal forms of birth control (condoms, diaphragm, or spermicides) while you are using mycophenolate mofetil and for at least 6 weeks after your treatment ends.

It is not known whether mycophenolate mofetil passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use mycophenolate mofetil without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use mycophenolate mofetil?

Use this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger or smaller amounts, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor.

Mycophenolate mofetil is usually given twice a day. Follow your doctor's instructions. The injection form of this medication is given through a needle placed into a vein. The injection is usually given within 24 hours after your transplant. You may be given the injection for up to 14 days before you switch to the oral (pill) form of mycophenolate mofetil.

Take each oral dose with a full glass of water. Take mycophenolate mofetil oral medication on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Shake the mycophenolate mofetil oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one. Do not open the mycophenolate mofetil capsule or crush or chew a tablet. Do not use a pill that has been accidentally broken. The medicine from a crushed or broken pill can be dangerous if it gets in your eyes, mouth, or nose, or on your skin. If it does come in contact with these areas, wash your skin with soap and water or rinse your eyes with water. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to safely handle and dispose of a broken tablet or capsule.

This medication can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. You may also have an increased risk of certain forms of cancer. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Store mycophenolate mofetil at room temperature away from moisture and heat. The oral suspension may be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Do not allow the suspension to freeze. Throw away any unused suspension after 60 days.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of a mycophenolate mofetil overdose may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, unusual bleeding or bruising, and signs of infection.

What should I avoid while using mycophenolate mofetil?

Use two forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medication, and for at least 6 weeks after your treatment ends. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

Avoid contact with people who have colds, the flu, or other contagious illnesses. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop signs of infection.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with this medication. The vaccine may not be as effective in your body.

If you need to have any type of surgery, you may need to temporarily stop using mycophenolate mofetil. Be sure the surgeon knows ahead of time that you are using this medication.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Mycophenolate mofetil can increase your risk of skin cancer. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun.

Mycophenolate mofetil side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using mycophenolate mofetil and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;

  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • bloody, black, or tarry stools;

  • painful or difficult urination; or

  • numbness or tingly feeling.

Continue using mycophenolate mofetil and talk with your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

  • upset stomach, nausea, or vomiting;

  • diarrhea or constipation;

  • mild weakness;

  • tremor or dizziness;

  • anxiety, sleep problems (insomnia);

  • swelling of the feet or lower legs; or

  • a skin rash.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect mycophenolate mofetil?

Before using mycophenolate mofetil, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • other medicines that weaken the immune system, such as azathioprine (Imuran), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), tacrolimus (Prograf), or daclizumab (Zenapax);

  • cholestyramine (Questran);

  • an antacid (prescription or over-the-counter); or

  • acyclovir (Zovirax), ganciclovir (Cytovene), or valacyclovir (Valtrex).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use mycophenolate mofetil or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect mycophenolate mofetil. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about mycophenolate mofetil written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Mycophenolate mofetil is available with a prescription under the brand name CellCept. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • CellCept 250 mg-blue/brown capsules

  • CellCept 500 mg-lavender, capsule-shaped, film-coated tablets

  • CellCept Oral Suspension 200 mg/mL-white to off-white, mixed fruit flavor suspension

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.08. Revision Date: 1/14/07 2:32:32 PM.

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