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Tacrolimus Oral capsule

What is this medicine?

TACROLIMUS (ta KROE li mus) is used to decrease the immune system's response to a transplanted organ.

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. If you take the medicine with food, always take it with food. Do not take the medicine with grapefruit juice. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. You must take the medicine at the same time each day. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

  • burning or tingling in the hands or feet

  • changes in vision

  • chest pain

  • confusion

  • difficulty breathing, wheezing

  • fast or irregular heartbeat

  • feeling faint or lightheaded, falls

  • fever, chills or any other sign of infection

  • frequent urination

  • increased thirst or hunger

  • loss of appetite

  • pain or difficulty passing urine

  • seizures

  • severe headache

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation

  • diarrhea

  • nausea

  • swelling of the feet or legs, unusual or sudden weight gain

  • tremor

  • unusually weak or tired

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • astemizole

  • cidofovir

  • cisapride

  • cyclosporine

  • droperidol

  • grepafloxacin

  • pimozide

  • probucol

  • ziprasidone

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol and medicines that contain alcohol

  • amiodarone

  • amphotericin B

  • antacids

  • antibiotics like aminoglycosides, chloramphenicol, clarithromycin, erythromycin, and troleandomycin

  • bromocriptine

  • calcium channel blockers like diltiazem, nicardipine, nifedipine, and verapamil

  • cisplatin

  • danazol

  • diuretics

  • ethinyl estradiol

  • ganciclovir

  • grapefruit juice

  • medicines for fungal infections like amphotericin B, caspofungin, clotrimazole, fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, and voriconazole

  • medicines for seizures like carbamazepine, phenobarbital, and phenytoin

  • medicines for stomach problems like cimetidine, famotidine, lansoprazole, and omeprazole

  • metoclopramide

  • nefazodone

  • protease inhibitors like bocepravir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, and telaprevir

  • rifabutin

  • rifampin

  • sirolimus

  • St. John's wort

  • steroid medicines like prednisone, cortisone, and methylprednisone

  • troleandomycin

  • vaccines

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can, and call your doctor or health care professional. Call your doctor or health care professional if you vomit after a dose.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • diabetes

  • heart disease or heart failure

  • high blood pressure

  • immune system problems

  • infection

  • kidney disease

  • liver disease

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to tacrolimus, lactose, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will need frequent blood checks.

If you get a cold or other infection while receiving this medicine, call your doctor or health care professional. Do not treat yourself. The medicine may decrease your body's ability to fight infections.

Talk to your doctor about your risk of cancer. You may be more at risk for certain types of cancers if you take this medicine.

This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Date Last Reviewed: 8/5/2013
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.