Tacrolimus is an immunosuppressant. It is used to control your body’s immune re
sponse, enabling your body to accept the transplanted organ.
Uses of Tacrolimus
This medicine is used to prevent organ rejection in certain patients following liver, kidney or heart transplant.
Contraindications of Tacrolimus
When should one not use Tacrolimus
- If you are allergic to Tacrolimus
- If you are allergic to Sirolimus or any Macrolide-antibiotic (e.g. Erythromycin, Clarithromycin)
Side effects of Tacrolimus
Common side effects of this drug are:
- Loose motion, nausea
- Increased blood sugar, diabetes mellitus, increased potassium in the blood
- Sleeping difficulties
- Increase in blood pressure
- Kidney problems
- Reduction in blood cell counts (platelets, red or white blood cells), increase in white blood cell counts, changes in red blood cell counts
- Anxiety symptoms, confusion and disorientation, depression, mood changes, hallucination, mental disorders, nightmare
- Blindness, deafness (rare)
- Breathlessness (rare)
- Fits, disturbances in consciousness, tingling and numbness in the hands and feet, dizziness, impaired writing ability
- Blurred vision
- Ringing sound in your ears
- Faster heartbeat
- Small bleedings from the skin due to blood clots (rare)
- Increased muscle stiffness (rare)
Precautions and Warnings of Tacrolimus
Can I take Tacrolimus during pregnancy?
There is no sufficient data to prove this medicine’s safety in human pregnancy. Do not use this medicine in pregnancy without a physician’s advice.
Can I take Tacrolimus while breastfeeding?
This medicine passes into breast milk. This may harm a nursing baby, it is not recommended to use during breastfeeding.
Can I drive if I have consumed Tacrolimus?
This medicine may cause drowsiness. Do not drive unless you feel well.
Can I consume alcohol with Tacrolimus?
Too much intake of alcohol while taking this medicine has to be avoided as it can lead to excessive drowsiness.
Other General Warnings
Talk to your doctor if
- If you have liver problems
- If you have stomach pain with chills, fever, nausea or vomiting
- If you have heart disease
- Stopping your treatment with Tacrolimus may increase the chances of rejection of your transplanted organ
- Do not stop your medication without your doctor’s permission
Mode of Action of Tacrolimus
How Does It Work?
Tacrolimus is an immunosuppressant. In organ transplant patients, it works by suppressing your body’s immune response, which helps your body to accept the new organ.
Interactions of Tacrolimus
Interactions with other medicines
- Antifungal medicines like Ketoconazole, Fluconazole, Itraconazole, Voriconazole, Clotrimazole and Isavuconazole and antibiotics like Erythromycin, Clarithromycin and Rifampicin
- Medicines used in HIV/ AIDS (e.g. Ritonavir, Nelfinavir, Saquinavir)
- Nilotinib and Imatinib (used to treat certain cancers)
- Mycophenolic acid which is used to suppress the immune system to prevent organ transplant rejection
- Medicines for stomach ulcer and acid reflux (e.g. Omeprazole, Lansoprazole or Cimetidine)
- Medicines used to treat nausea and vomiting (e.g. Metoclopramide)
- Ibuprofen (used to treat fever, pain), Amphotericin B (used to treat bacterial infections) or antivirals (used to treat viral infections e.g. Aciclovir)
Interactions with food items
This medicine has food interactions with grapefruit juice. Avoid grapefruit (also as juice) while on treatment with Tacrolimus, since it can affect its levels in the blood and effectiveness.
Dosage of Tacrolimus
Seek emergency medical attention if you suspect overdose. Overdose may be associated with nausea, tremors, elevated liver enzyme levels and kidney damage.
Missed a Dose
If you missed any dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almsot time for your next dose, skip the missed dose & do not take extra medicine to compensate for the missed dose.
Dr. Ravi Kakarla
Dr. Ritu Budania
MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What should I discuss with my healthcare expert before taking this medicine?
A: You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to Tacrolimus, tell about the list of medications you are using. Discuss the benefits and risks of using this medicine.
Q: When and how to consume medicine?
A: Take this medicine with or without food. Take this medicine as your doctor prescribed you.
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