Tacrolimus is used on its own or together with other medicines to prevent the rejection of kidney, heart, or liver transplants.This medicine helps to control your body's immune response, allowing your body to accept the transplanted organ.
Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take it on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 to 3 hours after a meal.
If you are taking the modified-release type of tablet (usually labeled as “XL”, “XR”), swallow it whole. Do not divide, chew or crush the tablet.
If you are taking the granules for oral suspension, follow these steps:
- Pour the prescribed volume of water into a glass or cup. Your doctor will advise you what is the required volume of water to make the suspension. Do not use cups made of PVC (polyvinylchloride).
- Open the prescribed number of sachets and pour the contents into the glass or cup of water. Do not use any liquids or utensils to empty the sachets. Stir until the liquid is evenly mixed.
- Administer the solution immediately after preparation. You can draw the suspension by using a syringe or by directly swallowing it.
- Rinse the cup with the same quantity of water then drink the rinsing.
There is a specific dosage recommendation for each formulation and brand of this medicine. Different preparation of this medicine cannot be substituted for each other. Ask your doctor or pharmacist before switching.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type and severity of your condition.
Tacrolimus must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not take this medicine if you ever had an allergic reaction (rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to Tacrolimus and similar similar medicines such as everolimus, pimecrolimus, sirolimus, temsirolimus or zotarolimus.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Inform your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease.
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. Your doctor may also need to do routine blood tests while you are being treated with this medicine .
Tacrolimus may cause dizziness and visual disturbances. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, difficulty sleeping, tremor, diarrhoea, nausea, sore throat, cough, blocked nose, shortness of breath, rash, joint pain, back pain, limb pain, muscle spasms, weakness, ringing in the ears and numbness or tingling sensation in the hands and feet.
This medicine will cause the level of your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to drop.
Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Alert your doctor if you have a fever, or a cough or flu that does not go away.
Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Alert your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- irregular heartbeat
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- severe stomach pain, chills, fever, nausea, vomiting
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for Hepatitis C infection e.g. boceprevir, telaprevir
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. ritonavir
- medicines for fungal infection e.g. ketoconazole, fluconazole, itraconazole
- medicines for high blood pressure or heart disease e.g. nifedipine, verapamil, diltiazem, amiodarone
- other antibiotics e.g. erythromycin, clarithromycin
- medicines for tuberculosis or TB e.g. rifampicin
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital
- stomach medicines e.g. lansoprazole, esomeprazole, cimetidine, antacids
- St. John’s wort (herbal supplement)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Tacrolimus.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid alcohol and grapefruit juice.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.