Mycophenolate must not be taken by patients who are pregnant or who may become pregnant. There is a high risk that mycophenolate will cause loss of the pregnancy or will cause the baby to be born with birth defects (problems that are present at birth).
You should not take mycophenolate if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant. You must have a negative pregnancy test within 1 week of the start of your treatment with mycophenolate. You must use two acceptable forms of birth control together for 4 weeks before you begin to take mycophenolate, at all times during your treatment, and for 6 weeks after you stop taking mycophenolate. Your doctor will tell you which forms of birth control are acceptable. Mycophenolate may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, implants, and injections), so it is especially important to use a second form of birth control along with this type of contraceptive.
Call your doctor right away if you think you are pregnant or if you miss a menstrual period.
Other risks of taking mycophenolate:
Mycophenolate may decrease your ability to fight infection. Wash your hands often and avoid people who are sick while you are taking this medication. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: sore throat, fever, chills, cold sores, blisters, swollen glands, extreme tiredness, loss of appetite, tingling or burning in one part of the body, pain or burning during urination, frequent urination, wound or sore that is warm or won't heal, drainage from a skin wound, general weak or sick feeling; white patches in the mouth, and other signs of infection.
Mycophenolate may increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer, including lymphoma (a type of cancer that develops in the lymph system) and skin cancer. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had skin cancer. Plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to real and artificial sunlight and light therapy and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. This will decrease your risk of developing skin cancer. Call your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms: pain or swelling in the neck, groin, or armpits; a change in the appearance of a mole; skin changes; or sores that do not heal.
Mycophenolate may increase the risk that you will develop progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML; a rare infection of the brain that cannot be treated, prevented, or cured and that usually causes death or severe disability). Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had PML, or another condition that affects your immune system such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS);sarcoidosis (a condition that causes swelling in the lungs and sometimes in other parts of the body); leukemia (cancer that causes too many blood cells to be produced and released into the bloodstream); or lymphoma. Also tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications that affect the immune system such as adalimumab (Humira), azathioprine (Imuran), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), etanercept (Enbrel), glatiramer (Copaxone), infliximab (Remicade), interferon beta (Avonex, Betaseron, Rebif);medications for cancer; mercaptopurine (Purinethol); methotrexate (Rheumatrex); mitoxantrone (Novantrone); natalizumab (Tysabri); oral medications such as dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexone), methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisolone, and prednisone (Deltasone); sirolimus (Rapamune); and tacrolimus (Prograf). Your doctor may tell you that you should not use mycophenolate. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: weakness on one side of the body or in the legs;confusion or difficulty thinking clearly; unsteadiness; memory loss; difficulty speaking or understanding what others say; or a lack of interest or concern for usual activities.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking mycophenolate.
For more information on Cellcept(Mycophenolate Mofetil), click here.