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mycophenolate mofetil (cont.)

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

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to mycophenolate mofetil, mycophenolic acid (Myfortic), or to an ingredient called Polysorbate 80.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use mycophenolate mofetil:

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

FDA pregnancy category D. This medication can cause harm to an unborn baby, especially if used during the first trimester of pregnancy. Do not use mycophenolate mofetil without telling your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant during treatment.

If you are a woman of child-bearing potential, you will be required to receive contraceptive counseling and to start using two forms of birth control 4 weeks before the start of your treatment with mycophenolate mofetil. You will also need to have a negative pregnancy test within 1 week before your treatment begins.

Unless you have been in menopause for at least 12 months in a row, you are considered to be of child-bearing potential. Adolescent girls who have entered puberty are also considered to be of child-bearing potential, even if not yet sexually active.

Use two non-hormone forms of birth control (such as a condom, diaphragm, spermicide) to prevent pregnancy before and during your treatment with mycophenolate mofetil, and for at least 6 weeks after your treatment ends. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

Although mycophenolate mofetil can cause harm to an unborn baby, not treating the mother with this medication after a transplant could pose a greater risk to the mother's health. Mycophenolate mofetil is sometimes given to pregnant women who are unable to take other needed transplant medications. Your doctor will decide whether you should receive this medication.

Your name may need to be listed on a national transplant pregnancy registry if you use mycophenolate mofetil during pregnancy. The purpose of this registry is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and delivery to evaluate whether mycophenolate mofetil had any effect on the baby.

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.

The oral liquid form of this medication may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of mycophenolate mofetil if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

How should I use mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept)?

Use this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

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 medicine must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and can take at least 2 hours to complete.

Mycophenolate mofetil 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 the pill form of this medicine with a full glass of water.

Take mycophenolate mofetil on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.

Shake the mycophenolate mofetil oral 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.

Mycophenolate mofetil 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 weekly or monthly basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using mycophenolate mofetil. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Store mycophenolate mofetil at room temperature away from moisture and heat. The oral liquid may be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Keep from freezing. Throw away any unused liquid medicine that is older than 60 days.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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