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Prograf [tacrolimus]

Purpose:

PROGRAF is prescribed to prevent or treat organ rejection in people who have received liver transplants. It is used for long-term (perhaps lifetime) immunosuppression.

How to take:

  • Capsules 1 mg (milligram) and 5 mg. If PROGRAF is taken twice daily, doses should be 12 hours apart. Either oral or IV PROGRAF may be given immediately after transplantation.
  • The transplant team will determine the dosage appropriate for each patient based on weight, blood levels, other laboratory tests, and the possible side effects of PROGRAF.
  • PROGRAF should be taken 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after meals.

Precautions:

  • Initially, the patient should also be taking corticosteroids, such as prednisone and/or azathioprine, when he takes PROGRAF.
  • The patient is likely to have frequent lab tests during the first few months to monitor the effectiveness and side effects of PROGRAF.
  • On a day when PROGRAF level is to be measured, the patient should not take his morning PROGRAF dose until after his blood has been drawn.
  • Store PROGRAF at room temperature (59º to 86º F).
  • PROGRAF may interact with some commonly used medications. Check with the transplant team before starting any new medications.
  • The benefits of taking this medication if a patient is pregnant or breast feeding must be weighed against the potential hazards to her, her fetus, or her infant. A woman who thinks she is pregnan should consult the transplant team immediately.

Principal side effect:

These include, but are not limited to, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, tremor, high blood sugar, high potassium levels, decreased magnesium levels, abnormal kidney function, hair loss, sleep disturbances, and numbness and tingling of hands or feet.

Conversion:

The transplant team may decide to give the patient PROGRAF instead of cyclosporine, or vice versa, because of side effects or rejection. If this occurs, the patient should follow the instructions of the transplant team.