Myfortic is an immunosuppressive agent used with other drugs in lowering the body’s natural immunity of the patients receiving kidney transplants.
During a kidney transplant, the receiving body’s white blood cells are programmed to reject the transplanted organ. This drug works by preventing the white blood cells do the “rejection”.
Because of its effects on the white blood cells, the body’s ability to fight infections will be greatly reduced during the course of treatment. Mycophenolate is used only under a doctor’s supervision.
2 What to Know Before Using
If you are about to start Myfortic, speak with your doctor about what you need to know. The risks and benefits the medicine offer must be weighed.
Before using this, you and your doctor must consider the following:
If you have any unusual reaction to any medicine, be sure to tell your doctor about it. Additionally, disclose other types of allergies - food, preservatives, animals, or dyes, if there are any. Read the package ingredients carefully and make sure you are not allergic to any of its ingredients.
Studies show no pediatric-specific problems would limit the use of this drug in children 5 years and older who had a transplant no less than 6 moths before. Nevertheless, the safety and efficacy of use in children younger than 5 years old are not yet established.
Studies show that old age would not limit the usefulness of this drug. Nonetheless, the use of this drug in the elderly must be done with utmost care, since elderly patients are more prone to age-related problems.
Using this drug can harm the fetus. However, in life-threatening situations, the benefits of using this drug may outweigh the potential risks.
Although there are no adequate studies in lactating mothers that determine potential risk in an infant when breastfeeding, the benefits should be weighed against the risks before taking this medication.
Certain medicines have adverse effects when used together. Nevertheless, it is still possible to take other medicines when using mycophenolate. Make sure to inform your doctor about other drugs you are taking, so that alterations and precautions will be made if necessary. Using this medicine with certain medicines needs utmost caution because the combination may result in certain side effects.
Before using this drug, talk to your doctor about possible interactions if you are using other drugs, especially:
To use Myfortic properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. The following information is only for the average dosage of this drug. The number of doses, the number of hours between doses, and how long you will take this drug depend on your health condition, your progress, and how well you react to this medicine.
It is advisable to take the medicine on an empty stomach, 1 hour before meals. It can also be taken 2 hours after meals. The drug is in delayed-release tablet form, which should be swallowed whole. Do not break, crush, or chew the tablet. If you are taking magnesium or aluminum-containing antacids, do not use them with mycophenolate.
Follow your doctor’s orders when it comes to dosage. The following information is only for the average dosage of this drug. The number of doses, the number of hours between doses, and how long you will take this drug depend on your health condition, your progress, and how well you react to this medicine.
For adults who had kidney transplants, doctors usually prescribe 720mg of delayed-release tablet twice a day. For teens and children 5 years old and up, the dosage will be based on size and weight of the patient, as determined by the doctor.
The dose is calculated as 400 mg per square meter twice a day, with no more than 720 mg two times a day for the maximum dose. Use and dosage for children below 5 years old are to be determined by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as possible. In case it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one and follow your regular dosing schedule. Never take double doses.
Keep the medicine in an airtight container at normal room temperature. Keep it away from direct light, heat, and moisture. Do not let it freeze. Keep the medicine out of children’s reach. Throw away any outdated medicine or medicine that are not in use. Keep the medicine in its original package until needed.
4 Precautions to Take
Before using Myfortic, there are some precautions you must take. Regular checkups are important to make sure the medicine is working, to follow your progress, and to keep track of any unwanted effects.
This medicine can harm your unborn baby if taken during pregnancy.
It is advisable to take a pregnancy test before you start taking this drug, as well as 8 to 10 days after you finished treatment to make sure you’re not pregnant. While using this medicine, birth control pills may not work properly, hence, you will need to use a backup birth control method for the entire period of treatment.
Using mycophenolate increases the risk of skin cancer and lymphoma.
If you are concerned about this, your doctor may advise you to wear protective clothing, hats, and sunscreen lotions to protect you from the harmful rays of the sun. In addition, the drug can lower your white blood cell count temporarily, increasing your risk for infections. Avoid people with infections, as much as you can.
Check with your doctor if you feel any symptoms of infection, such as:
Furthermore, this medicine may heighten your chance of getting rare and serious viral infections like shingles, cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes, BK virus-associated nephropathy, or PVAN (polyoma virus-associated nephropathy).
Serious tissue and blood infections can result from getting CMV, while BK virus may cause a transplanted kidney to fail.
If you have one or more of the following symptoms, consult your doctor right away:
Taking mycophenolate may also cause PRCA or pure red cell aplasia. PRCA is a rare condition, which causes severe anemia because the body no longer produces red blood cells.
Consult your doctor right away if you have:
a sore throat
unusual bruising or bleeding
unusual weakness or tiredness
Do not have any vaccinations or immunizations while using this drug, or after you have stopped, without the approval of your doctor. The drug lowers your immune system , increasing the chance you might have the infection the vaccine is intended to prevent.
Do not miss a dose or stop taking this medicine without your doctor’s advice, for this may cause transplanted organ rejection. Do not take any other medicines, including prescription or nonprescription, vitamins, or herbal supplements, without your doctor’s advice.
5 Potential Side Effects
As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Myfortic. Not all of the side effects listed below may occur, but if they do, you may need to get medical attention.
If any of the side effects take place, consult your doctor:
black, tarry stools
blood in the urine or stools
bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
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