Tacrolimus is the general version of Prograf, which is used together with other drugs to prevent organ rejection in people who have undergone kidney, liver or heart transplant.
Prograph (tacrolimus) is an immunosuppressant. It works by blocking the action of certain blood cells, which can induce the body to abandon the transplanted organ.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved tacrolimus in 1994. Prograf is manufactured by AstellasPharma US.
Tacrolimus may increase the risk of infection and your chances of developing it.
Immediately notify your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms when taking a carcinoma:
- Symptoms of infection that may include fever, chills, or sore throat
- Night sweats
- Unusual fatigue or weakness
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin
- Weight loss
- Labored breathing
- Thoracic pain
- Pain, swelling in the stomach
To reduce the risk of skin cancer, avoid sunburn and unnecessary exposure to sunlight when taking this medication. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen if you are on the street.
This medicine should be used only under the supervision of a doctor who has experience in the treatment of patients with organ transplantation and the administration of drugs that reduce the activity of the immune system.
Before taking tacrolimus, tell your doctor if you have or have had:
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
- Pure aplasia of erythrocytes (type of anemia)
- Prolonged QT syndrome (heart rhythm disorder)
- Liver disease
- History of infections
- High levels of potassium in the blood
- Weakened immune system
- Skin cancer
Be sure to tell your doctor about all the medicines that you take. Some medicines can increase your chances of developing QT (irregular heartbeat type).
In addition, notify your healthcare provider if you are taking or have recently stopped taking the medication.
Your doctor will probably tell you not to take the carrilimus until 24 hours after the last dose of cyclosporine.
Tacrolimus can cause high blood pressure. Your doctor will need to closely monitor your blood pressure during your treatment.
The drug can also increase your chances of developing diabetes during treatment. Hispanic and African-Americans who had kidney transplants are at particular risk.
Tell your doctor if you or someone in your family has diabetes and immediately tell your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:
- Excessive thirst or hunger
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
Let your health care provider know that you are taking this medicine before performing any surgery, including dental procedures.
Do not vaccinate when taking tacrolimus without first talking to your doctor.
Continue taking tacrolimus, even if you feel good. Do not stop using this medicine without first talking to your doctor.
Pregnancy and tacrolimus
Tacrolimus can harm an unborn baby.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or can become pregnant before taking this medicine.
The drug can be found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking tacrolimus.
Tell your doctor if any of the following side effects is serious or does not disappear:
- Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Uncontrollable jerking of body parts
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Back pain
- Rashes or itching
- Burning, pain, numbness or tingling in the hands, or feet
Serious side effects
Immediately notify your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms listed in the “Alerts” section, or any of the following serious side effects:
- Reduction, soreness or burning sensation of urination
- Weight gain
- Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
Tell your doctor about all the drugs that you take before taking tacrolimus, especially those listed in the “Warnings” section or any of the following:
- Abelcet, Ambisome or Amphotec
- Antifungal drugs such as Diflucan, Lotrimin or Mycelex, Nizoral, Sporanox (itraconazole), and Vfend (voriconazole)
- Adalatil or Procardia, Calan, Covera-HS or Isoptin, Cardene (nicardipine) and Cardizem
- Cancidas (caspofungin)
- Some such as amikin (amikacin), bixin, EES, E-Mycin or erythrocin, ghramamycin, neofradin, streptomycin, TAO (trolleandomycin), and tobramycin
- Certain diuretics
- Some cramps, such as phenytoin, Luminal and carbamazepine
- Cytovin (ganciclovir)
- Danocrin (danazol)
- HIV protease inhibitors such as Crixivan (indinavir), Norvir (ritonavir), and Viracept (nelfinavir)
- Hormonal contraceptives
- Mycobutin (rifabutin)
- Parlodel (bromocriptine)
- Rapamune (sirolimus)
- Rifadine and Rimaktana
Tacrolimus and other interactions
Tacrolimus can cause dizziness. Do not drive and do not use it until you know how the medicine affects you.
Tacrolimus and alcohol
Alcohol can worsen certain side effects of tacrolimus.
Talk with your doctor before drinking alcohol while taking this medication.
Tacrolimus and grapefruit
Grapefruit and its juice can interfere with how tacrolimus will work in the body.
Talk with your doctor about this potential interaction.
Dosage of tacrolimus
Tacrolimus is supplied as a capsule for ingestion or as a solution for injection into a vein.
Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions when taking a catarrh. Do not use more or less medicine than recommended.
Capsules are usually taken twice a day.
Try to place your doses about 12 hours apart and take this medicine at about the same time every day.
Tacrolimus injection is usually done in a doctor’s office, hospital or clinic. This form is usually reserved for patients who can not tolerate oral medication.
Usually it is administered through a dropper.
Symptoms of overdose may include drowsiness.
If you suspect an overdose, immediately contact a poison control center or an emergency room.
Missed dose of tacrolimus
If you miss dosutarolimus, take it as soon as you remember.
However, skip it if it’s time to take the next scheduled dose. Do not take additional medication to compensate for the missed dose.
If you miss an injection of tacrolimus, tell your doctor immediately.