Mycophenolate Sodium (mye-koe-FEN-oh-late SOE-dee-um)
Used with other medicines to keep your body from rejecting a kidney transplant. This medicine suppresses your immune system.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to mycophenolate mofetil, mycophenolate sodium, or mycophenolic acid, or if you are pregnant.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- Use only the brand of this medicine that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way.
- Take this medicine on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after you eat.
- Swallow the tablet whole. Do not break, crush, or chew it.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using azathioprine (Azasan®, Imuran®), birth control pills, or medicine to treat a virus infection (such as acyclovir, ganciclovir, Cytovene®, Valcyte®, or Zovirax®). Tell your doctor if you are using a medicine to lower cholesterol (such as cholestyramine, Colestid®, Locholest® Light, Prevalite®, Questran®, or Welchol®).
- If you are also using antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium (such as Maalox® or Mylanta®), do not use them at the same time as mycophenolate. Use them 1 hour before or 2 hours after your dose of mycophenolate. If you have questions, talk with your doctor about the best times to use your antacids.
- Talk to your doctor before getting flu shots or other vaccines while you are receiving this medicine. Vaccines may not work as well, or they could make you ill while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. You must have a negative blood or urine pregnancy test before you start using the medicine to make sure that you are not pregnant. Birth control pills may not work while you are using this medicine. To keep from getting pregnant, use two other forms of birth control such as condoms, a diaphragm, or contraceptive foam or jelly. Use the two forms of birth control while you are using this medicine and for 6 weeks after your treatment ends. Tell your doctor right away if you think you have become pregnant while using the medicine.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, bone marrow problems, high blood pressure, or a stomach problem such as ulcers or colitis. Also tell your doctor if you have a condition called Lesch-Nyhan or Kelley-Seegmiller syndrome.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
- You may be more likely to get infections while using this medicine. Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of an infection, such as fever or chills. Try to stay away from people with colds, flu, or other infections.
- This medicine may increase your risk of developing a serious brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). Call your doctor right away if you are having more than one of these symptoms: vision changes, loss of coordination, clumsiness, memory loss, difficulty speaking or understanding what others say, and weakness in the legs.
- Using this medicine may cause you to have a higher risk of getting tumors or cancers, such as skin cancer or cancer of the lymph system. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.
- Use a strong sunscreen (SPF-30 or higher) on your skin when you are outdoors. You may also wear a hat and cover your skin with clothing. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.
- This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
- This medicine may increase your risk of developing a rare and serious virus infection called BK virus-associated nephropathy (BKVAN). The BK virus may affect how your kidneys work and cause a transplanted kidney to fail. Check with your doctor right away if you are having more than one of these symptoms: bloody urine; a decreased frequency or amount of urine; increased thirst; loss of appetite; lower back or side pain; nausea; swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs; trouble with breathing; unusual tiredness or weakness; vomiting; or weight gain.
- This medicine may cause pure red cell aplasia (PRCA). This is a very rare condition where the body no longer makes red blood cells and the patient has severe anemia. Check with your doctor right away if you have a fever and sore throat; pale skin; unusual bleeding or bruising; or unusual tiredness or weakness.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
- Bloody, black, or tarry stools.
- Blurred vision or other vision changes.
- Change in how much or how often you urinate.
- Difficulty speaking or understanding what others say, or memory loss.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
- Loss of coordination, confusion, clumsiness, or weakness in the legs.
- Pain or problems with urination.
- Severe stomach pain, bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
- Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat.
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
- Trouble with breathing, chest pain, or fast heartbeat.
- Unexplained fever, tiredness that does not go away, weight loss, or swelling of the lymph nodes.
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Diarrhea or constipation.
- Joint or muscle pain.
- Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or upset stomach.
- Runny or stuffy nose.
- Trouble sleeping.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Review Date: 2011-02-04