tacrolimus (oral) (cont.)
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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking tacrolimus (Prograf)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to tacrolimus or hydrogenated castor oil, or if you have used cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf) within the past 24 hours.
Tacrolimus can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections, or cause your body to produce too much of a certain type of white blood cells. This can lead to serious and sometimes fatal conditions, including cancer, a severe brain infection that can lead to disability or death, or a virus that can cause failure of a transplanted kidney.
Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of a serious brain infection, such as a change in your mental state, problems with speech or walking, or decreased vision. These symptoms may start gradually and get worse quickly.
Using tacrolimus may increase your risk of developing skin cancer, especially if you are treated over long periods of time with drugs that weaken the immune system. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.
Some people taking tacrolimus after a kidney transplant have developed diabetes. This effect has been seen most often in people who are Hispanic or African-American. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk of diabetes if you have concerns.
To make sure you can safely take tacrolimus, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether tacrolimus will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
Tacrolimus can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using tacrolimus.
How should I take tacrolimus (Prograf)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
You may receive an injection of tacrolimus shortly after your transplant. Tacrolimus injection is given until you are ready to take the pill form of tacrolimus.
The tacrolimus capsule is usually taken every 12 hours. Take the medicine at the same time each day.
You may take tacrolimus with or without food, but take it the same way each time.
You will need regular medical tests to be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects. Visit your doctor regularly. Do not miss any follow up visits to your doctor for blood or urine tests.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
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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