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Mycophenolate (for transplant patients)

my-koh-fen-oh-late

What does it do?

Mycophenolate is an immunosuppressant used with other medicines to prevent transplant rejection.

How should you take it?

Take mycophenolate regularly as directed with a glass of water.
Swallow the tablets or capsules whole – do not break, crush or chew.
Measure the liquid carefully with the oral syringe supplied. Shake the bottle well before measuring each dose. Wash your hands after using the liquid.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. echinacea) or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Increased risk of infection - symptoms may include: fever, chills, sore throat, aches and pains, tiredness, pain when peeing, mouth ulcers

Easy/unusual bruising or bleeding

Change in heartbeat

Short of breath, persistent dry cough

Tell your doctor immediately

Loss of co-ordination, muscle weakness, forgetfulness, or vision changes

Diarrhoea, stomach pain, black bowel motions

Dizziness, pale skin

Increased blood pressure

Tell your doctor

Headache, trouble sleeping, mood changes, anxiety

Tremor, tingling or numbness

Swollen feet or legs

Acne, hair loss or thinning, skin rash, itching

Nausea, vomiting, constipation, indigestion

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Do not stop taking mycophenolate unless your doctor at the transplant clinic tells you to. You may have to take mycophenolate for the rest of your life.
  • You will need regular blood tests while you are taking mycophenolate to monitor its effects on your blood.
  • Protect yourself from too much sunlight while taking immunosuppressant medicines (they may increase your risk of skin cancer). Always cover up and apply a thick layer of broad spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF30) when outside. Do not use sunbeds.
  • Do not get pregnant while taking mycophenolate, and for at least 6 weeks after stopping it. If you plan to become pregnant, or find you are pregnant, discuss this with your doctor. Do not breastfed while taking mycophenolate.
  • You have an increased risk of getting an infection while taking mycophenolate. Discuss with your doctor.
  • Mycophenolate affects your immune system. Before you start and while you are using it, check with your doctor what vaccines you might need. You should not have a live vaccine while using it.
  • Tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria (PKU). The mycophenolate liquid may contain aspartame (a source of phenylalanine).
  • Store mycophenolate liquid as directed. Discard any leftover liquid after the expiry date on the bottle – ask your pharmacist how to do this safely.
  • It is important to tell anyone who gives you medical or dental treatment that you are taking mycophenolate.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. September 2018

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed