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Tacrolimus is used along with other medications to prevent rejection (attack of a transplanted organ by the immune system of a person receiving the organ) in people who have received kidney, liver, or heart transplants. Tacrolimus is in a class of medications called immunosupressants. It works by decreasing the activity of the immune system to prevent it from attacking the transplanted organ.
Tacrolimus comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day. Space your doses 12 hours apart, and take tacrolimus at the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take tacrolimus exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will monitor you carefully and adjust your dose as needed. Talk to your doctor often about how you are feeling during your treatment. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about how much tacrolimus you should take.
Tacrolimus can only prevent rejection of your transplant as long as you are taking the medication. Continue to take tacrolimus even if you feel well. Do not stop taking tacrolimus without talking to your doctor.
Tacrolimus is also sometimes used to treat fistulizing Crohn's disease (a condition in which the body attacks the lining of the digestive tract, causing pain, diarrhea, weight loss, fever, and the formation of abnormal tunnels connecting the digestive tract to other organs or the skin). Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication to treat your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking tacrolimus,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to tacrolimus or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: amphotericin B (Abelcet, Ambisome, Amphotec); antacids; certain antibiotics including aminoglycosides such as amikacin, gentamicin, neomycin (Neo-Fradin), streptomycin, and tobramycin (Tobi), and macrolides such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (EES, E-Mycin, Erythrocin), and troleandomycin (TAO) (not available in the US); antifungal medications such as clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex), fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral) and voriconazole (Vfend); bromocriptine (Parlodel); calcium channel blockers such as diltiazem (Cardizem), nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), and verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin); caspofungin (Cancidas); chloramphenicol; cimetidine (Tagamet); cisapride (Propulsid) (not available in the U.S.); cisplatin (Platinol); danazol (Danocrine); certain diuretics ('water pills'); ganciclovir (Cytovene); hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, patches, rings, inserts, or injections); HIV protease inhibitors such as indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), and ritonavir (Norvir); lansoprazole (Prevacid); certain medications for seizures such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital, and phenytoin (Dilantin); methylprednisolone (Medrol); metoclopramide (Reglan); nefazodone; omeprazole (Prilosec); rifabutin (Mycobutin); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane); and sirolimus (Rapamune). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you more carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with tacrolimus, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor if you are taking or have recently stopped taking cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune). If you were taking cyclosporine, your doctor will probably tell you not to start taking tacrolimus until 24 hours after you took your last dose of cyclosporine. If you stop taking tacrolimus, your doctor will also tell you to wait 24 hours before starting to take cyclosporine.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John's wort.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart, kidney, or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking tacrolimus, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking tacrolimus.
- you should know that taking tacrolimus may increase the risk that you will develop skin cancer. Protect yourself from skin cancer by avoiding unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light (tanning beds) and wearing protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen with a high skin protection factor (SPF).
- you should know that tacrolimus may cause high blood pressure. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure carefully, and may prescribe medication to treat high blood pressure if it develops.
- you should know that there is a risk that you will develop diabetes during your treatment with tacrolimus. African American and Hispanic patients who have had kidney transplants have an especially high risk of developing diabetes during their treatment with tacrolimus. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had diabetes. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: excessive thirst; excessive hunger; frequent urination; blurred vision or confusion.
- do not have any vaccinations without talking to your doctor.
Food limitations and special diet when taking Tacrolimus
Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking tacrolimus.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Possible side effects
Tacrolimus may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- stomach pain
- loss of appetite
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- back or joint pain
- burning, numbness, pain, or tingling in the hands or feet
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, or those mentioned in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
- decreased urination
- pain or burning on urination
- swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- weight gain
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time)
Tacrolimus may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
Storage and disposal of Tacrolimus
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
Other important information
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain tests to check your body's response to tacrolimus.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
We provide only general information about Prograf which does not cover all possible drug integrations, directions or precautions. Information at our website cannot be used for self-treatment and self-diagnosis. Any specific instructions for a particular patient should be agreed with his health care adviser or doctor in charge of the case. We disclaim reliability of this information and mistakes it could contain. We are not responsible for any direct, indirect, special or other indirect damage as a result of any use of the information on this site and also for consequences of self-treatment.
Important Information about Purchasing PrografIn some countries valid doctor's prescription is required to purchase Prograf. Our online pharmacy escrow service allows You to buy Prograf without a prescription as its not required in the country where this medicine is purchased and shipped from (India). We expect that You are familiar with the Prograf medication You want to buy online. You must know needed dosage that works for You, how to take this drug and all possible side effects.
We guarantee quality of Prograf - tacrolimus medication that is sold through our site. Its medical effect will be the same as of brand name Prograf®.