Prograf is used (together with other medications) to prevent your body from rejecting a kidney, liver or heart transplant by lowering the activity of white blood cells in the body.
Prograf should be stored at room temperature, away from heat and moisture.
Consult with your physician before taking Prograf and tell them if you have any medical conditions, allergies, or if you are taking any other medications. Be sure to let them know if you have any of the following: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high potassium in the blood, infections, kidney disease, liver disease or you have used cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune) in the last 24 hours. Avoid contact with people who have the flu, colds and other contagious illness. If you develop any signs of infection, be sure to let your doctor know right away. It has not been determined whether Prograf can harm an unborn baby, however, it can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breast-feeding.
Prograf can increase your risk of developing some types of cancer, especially skin cancer. Some patients have developed diabetes while receiving Prograf after a transplant. Consult with your physician regarding your individual risk. Prograf may affect how phenytoin and vaccinations work.
Prograf should be taken as directed by your physician. See the instructions on the medication label for exact directions. Do not take more or for longer than has been prescribed. A Prograf injection may be received shortly after your transplant. It is given around –the-clock until you are ready to take it in capsule form. The capsule is generally taken every 12 hours, however, your doctor may occasionally change your dose to ensure you get the best results. It should be taken around the same time every day and can be taken with or without food. Do not take it with a grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Swallow the capsule whole – do not cut, crush, chew or break it. If you miss a dose of Prograf, contact your doctor immediately. Do not try to catch up on your own and ask your doctor about missed doses ahead of time. If you miss even a few doses of Prograf, your body may reject your transplanted organ.
Do not take Prograf if you are allergic to tacolimus, hydrogenated castor oil or to any of the other ingredients in the medication. Do not take it with grapefruit or grapefruit juice.
Severe side effects include: severe allergic reactions; urinating less than usual or not at all; painful urination, blood in your urine; speech, or coordination; pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness; problems with your vision, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; tremor (shaking), headache, confusion, numbness or tingly feeling; pain in the lower back or side; slow heart rate, weak pulse, muscle weakness; tiredness, fast or pounding heartbeat, mild shortness of breath; or increased urination, thirst, or hunger.
Common side effects include: swelling in your hands or feet; itching skin or mild rash; nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea,constipation; loss of appetite; or sleep problems (insomnia).