Mycophenolate (brand names: Cellcept, Myortic) is a medicine that lowers the body’s natural immunity. The immune system response is thought to be involved in Nephrotic Syndrome. This medicine is prescribed if there are too many relapses of Nephrotic Syndrome.
Why is mycophenolate mofetil needed for Nephrotic Syndrome patients?
A doctor may recommend mycophenolate if Nephrotic Syndrome doesn’t get better with steroid treatment or if it keeps coming back. This medicine has shown to reduce relapse rate and steroid dose in people with steroid-dependent Nephrotic Syndrome. It may take several weeks for mycophenolate to make a difference in your condition.
How is mycophenolate mofetil administered?
Mycophenolate comes in a capsule, tablet, or liquid form.
If the liquid form is taken you should measure the correct amount using an oral syringe or medicine spoon. (You can get these from your pharmacist.) Do not use a kitchen teaspoon because you will not be able to measure out the correct amount.
Take mycophenolate at the same time every day. Doses should be at least 12 hours apart. Pick times that are easy for you so that you do not miss a dose.
You should consult your doctor before you stop taking this medicine or before you change the amount for any reason. You may become ill if you stop taking this medicine suddenly.
Taking mycophenolate with food may help to lessen stomach cramping and diarrhea. Food affects how the body absorbs mycophenolate. To keep the blood levels of mycophenolate the same, you should always take it the same way, either with food or without food.
What are the possible side effects of mycophenolate mofetil?
You may experience some of these side effects while on mycophenolate. Check with your doctor if you continue to have any of these side effects and they do not go away:
- Vomiting (throwing up)
- Nausea (upset stomach)
- Stomach pain
- Loss of energy or weakness
- Trouble sleeping
Most of the following side effects are not common, but they may be a sign of a serious problem. Call your doctor right away or go to the emergency room if you have any of these side effects:
- Fever, chills, and sore throat
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Black, tarry stools
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Cough or hoarseness
- Chest pain
- Trembling or shaking of hands and feet
What are precautionary measures I should take while taking mycophenolate mofetil?
Mycophenolate lowers the body’s immunity, which increases chances of getting an infection. Watch closely for signs of infection such as a fever, chills, cough, and sore throat. Contact your doctor right away if you notice any signs of infection.
You should not receive any immunizations (vaccines) without your doctor’s approval.
Taking mycophenolate with food may help to lessen stomach cramping and diarrhea. Food affects how the body absorbs mycophenolate. To keep the blood levels of mycophenolate the same, you should always take mycophenolate the same way, either with food or without food.
If you throw up after:
- less than 30 minutes: repeat the full mycophenolate dose (repeat the dose only once)
- more than 30 minutes: do not repeat the dose
If you miss a dose, you should make up for it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.
Avoid taking antacids or iron supplements with mycophenolate because this will decrease its absorption. If you need an antacid or iron, wait at least one hour before taking mycophenolate or one hour after taking mycophenolate.
Many other medications may change the blood levels of mycophenolate in your body. Check with your doctor before taking any other medicines (prescription, non-prescription, herbal, or natural products).
*Note: The decision to prescribe a medication is the responsibility of your physician/primary care provider based on his/her evaluation of your condition. The above is meant for informational purposes only. Discuss this information and all information about drugs/medications with your physician before starting or stopping any medication.