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Mycophenolic Acid

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Mycophenolic Acid - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Mycophenolic Acid cause?

Side effects may occur when taking Mycophenolate, but the majority of these effects tend to resolve spontaneously. Common side effects include:

  • Nausea and vomiting (Can be minimized by taking Mycophenolate after food)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Lethargy (Feeling tired/lack of energy)
  • Difficulty sleeping

Consult your doctor or pharmacist about any symptoms that becomes bothersome.

Before taking Mycophenolic Acid, what precautions must I follow?

​STOP taking Mycophenolate and let your doctor know if you develop an allergic reaction. Rash due to allergic reaction to Mycophenolate is rare. Possible symptoms of allergic reaction are:

  • rash, hives, or itching
  • red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin with or without fever
  • wheezing or tightness in the chest or throat
  • trouble breathing or talking
  • unusual hoarseness
  • swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat

STOP taking Mycophenolate and seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the rare but severe side effects:

  • newly appeared mole, discolouration of skin (avoid exposure to prolonged sun exposure and protect your skin with sunscreen)

Mycophenolate may increase risk of developing certain kinds of infections due to reduced white blood cells (a key component of the body's immune system that helps to fight infections). Tell your doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms of infection such as temperature exceeding 38°C, chills, cough, painful or bloody urination, feeling very tired or weak.

Avoid raw (e.g. sashimi) or half-cooked foods (e.g. half-boiled eggs) to prevent food poisoning.

Although rare, prolonged use of Mycophenolate may increase the risk of developing certain kinds of cancers, such as lymphoma (a type of white blood cell cancer) and skin cancer. Your doctor will perform periodic screening to manage the risk.

While having treatment with Mycophenolate, you must see your doctor as scheduled to monitor response to treatment and minimize any possible side effect.

Use of Mycophenolate during pregnancy may cause pregnancy loss or birth defects to your unborn baby (e.g. abnormal development of ears). Women of childbearing potential should use 2 reliable forms of contraception concurrently before beginning therapy, during therapy and for 6 weeks following stopping of Mycophenolate (unless abstinence i.e. refrain from sexual activity is the chosen method of contraception).

Sexually active men (including men with sterilization) are recommended to use condoms during therapy and for at least 90 days after stopping Mycophenolate. Their female partners are also recommended to use highly effective contraception during and for a total of 90 days after the male stopping Mycophenolate. 

It is not known if Mycophenolate is present in the human milk. Due to the potential serious effects on the child, you should not breastfeed for at least 6 weeks after stopping Mycophenolate.

Mycophenolate may interact with other medicine or supplement that you are taking. Inform the doctor, pharmacist or specialty nurse (such as dermatology, gastroenterology or rheumatology) before starting any medicines and supplements. Medicines such as antacid may decrease the absorption of Mycophenolate and reduce its effectiveness. If you need to consume antacid, please take Mycophenolate and antacid 2 hours apart. On the other hand, supplement such as Echinacea may reduce the benefit of Mycophenolate.

Immunization status should be current before starting the medicine. Do not receive any live vaccine while you are on Mycophenolate. Always consult your doctor before going for immunisation.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Mycophenolic Acid?

  • Updated on Saturday, October 21, 2017
  • Article contributed by Pharmacy, Rheumatology & Immunology Singapore General Hospital

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

    This leaflet answers some common questions about Mycophenolate. It does not contain all the available information. It also does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.​​

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