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    Mycophenolate mofetil

    Information about Mycophenolate mofetil

    Mycophenolate mofetil uses

    Mycophenolate mofetil is used for prevention of organ rejection in transplant patients.

    How mycophenolate mofetil works

    Mycophenolate mofetil is an immunosuppressant. It reduces the action of body's own defense system (the immune system) and prevents rejection of the transplanted organ.

    Common side effects of mycophenolate mofetil

    Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Abdominal pain, Headache, High blood pressure, Decreased white blood cell count (neutrophils)
    Content Details
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    Written By
    Dr. Anuj Saini
    MMST, MBBS
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    Reviewed By
    Dr. Ashish Ranjan
    MD (Pharmacology), MBBS
    Last updated on:
    08 Nov 2019 | 08:02 PM (IST)
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    Expert advice for Mycophenolate mofetil

    • Your doctor has prescribed Mycophenolate mofetil to stop your body from rejecting a transplanted organ (e.g. kidney, heart or liver). 
    • It may take 6 to 12 weeks for Mycophenolate mofetil to start working. Keep taking it as prescribed.
    • Take it with food to minimize possible side effects like nausea and stomach pain.
    • It makes you more susceptible to getting infections. Avoid contact with people who have an infection. Consult your doctor immediately if you develop a sore throat, high temperature, any other signs of infections.
    • It may cause birth defects so birth control is required in females with reproductive potential.
    • Protect yourself from direct sunlight by wearing protective clothing and applying a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF).
    • Your doctor may get regular blood tests done to monitor the levels of blood cells in your blood. Inform your doctor if you experience symptoms such as unexplained bruising or bleeding, sore throat, mouth ulcers, or fever.

    Frequently asked questions for Mycophenolate mofetil

    Mycophenolate mofetil

    Q. Why has my doctor given me Mycophenolate mofetil after I have had a kidney transplant?

    Mycophenolate mofetil is an immunosuppressant. Mycophenolate mofetil has been prescribed to you to help your body accept the donor kidney. It does so by working on the cells of your immune system, which fight with any foreign substance and reject its presence. This helps in making the transplanted organ more acceptable to your body.

    Q. How long does Mycophenolate mofetil take to start working?

    Mycophenolate mofetil does not start working immediately and it may take about 8 to 12 weeks before you see any benefits. It is important to continue taking Mycophenolate mofetil since it does not cure your condition. To ensure that your condition does not reappear, you may have to keep taking the medicine for several years.

    Q. Can Mycophenolate mofetil cause cancer?

    Mycophenolate mofetil may increase your chances of certain cancers like skin cancer and lymphoma (cancer of the lymph system). When outside, avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight, wear protective clothing, and apply sunscreen. Call your doctor if you experience a new skin sore or bump, a change in the size or color of a mole, a brown or black skin lesion (sore) with uneven edges, a sore whose one part does not look like the other, skin changes, sores that do not heal, unexplained fever, tiredness that does not go away, weight loss, or pain or swelling in the neck, groin, or armpits.

    Q. Is Mycophenolate mofetil a steroid or a chemotherapy drug? Can it cause hair loss?

    Mycophenolate mofetil is neither a steroid nor a chemotherapy medicine. It is an immunosuppressant which means that it acts on your immune system to suppress or weaken it so that your body does not reject the donated organ of another person. Hair loss is a common side effect of Mycophenolate mofetil.

    Q. Do I need any special tests while taking Mycophenolate mofetil?

    Since Mycophenolate mofetil can affect blood count and affect the kidneys and liver, your doctor will ask you to have a blood test before you start the treatment. Once the treatment starts, you will be required to take regular blood tests to check for any changes in the blood. These blood tests will help monitor your response to the medicine and the development of any side effects.

    Q. My doctor has asked me to stay away from a person who has chicken pox or shingles. Why?

    Mycophenolate mofetil is an immunosuppressant, which means that it decreases the activity of the immune system. Since your immune system is already weak, if you come in contact with a patient of chicken pox or shingles, you may develop it too. This is the reason that your doctor has advised you to be cautious. Therefore, follow your doctor’s advice and contact your doctor immediately if you get chicken pox or shingles as you may require special treatment.

    Q. What precautions should a female follow while taking Mycophenolate mofetil?

    Do not take Mycophenolate mofetil if you are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy. There is a high risk of miscarriage (loss of the pregnancy) during the first 3 months of pregnancy. It may even cause birth defects (problems that are present at birth) in the baby. Therefore, you must use two acceptable forms of birth control together for 4 weeks before you start taking Mycophenolate mofetil, during the treatment, and for 6 weeks after you stop taking Mycophenolate mofetil. Your doctor will suggest the two birth control methods which suit you the best. It is important to use a second form of birth control along with birth control pills as Mycophenolate mofetil may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills.

    Q. What precautions should a male follow while taking Mycophenolate mofetil?

    It is recommended that either the man or her partner should use reliable contraception during treatment and for 90 days after the treatment. Men should not donate semen during the therapy or for 90 days following discontinuation of Mycophenolate mofetil.

    Content on this page was last updated on 08 November, 2019, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)