This medication is used to prevent and treat rejection of a kidney transplant. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as immunosuppressants. It works by decreasing your body's natural defense (immune system). This helps prevent your body from rejecting the kidney transplant so it can work normally.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used for certain blood disorders (aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndrome).
How To Use
Before receiving this medication, you may be directed to take other medicines (such as acetaminophen, antibiotic, antihistamine, corticosteroid) to decrease side effects during your treatment.
This medication is given by a health care professional as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your weight, medical condition, lab tests, and response to treatment. It is slowly injected into a vein, usually over at least 4 to 6 hours. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you notice redness, pain, or swelling during your injection.
Follow your doctor's directions for taking your other medications to help prevent your body from rejecting the kidney transplant or to prevent infection. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure how to take any of your medicines.
Nausea, fever, chills, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, or tiredness may occur. Redness, pain, or swelling at the injection site may also occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor promptly.
People using this medication may have serious side effects. However, you have been prescribed this drug because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Careful monitoring by your doctor may decrease your risk.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
- easy bruising/bleeding
- fast/irregular heartbeat
- joint/muscle pain
- severe stomach/abdominal pain
Because this drug works by weakening the immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. This may make you more likely to get a serious (rarely fatal) infection or make any infection you have worse. Tell your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection (such as cough, sore throat, fever, chills, pain when urinating).
This medication may increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Consult your doctor for details.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before receiving this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to rabbit proteins; or if you have had a severe reaction to other immune globulins; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of:
- bleeding/blood clotting problems
- recent/current infections
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
This medication can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.
Tell your health care professional that you are using this medication before having any immunizations/vaccinations. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).
To lower the chance of getting cut, bruised, or injured, use caution with sharp objects like razors and nail cutters, and avoid activities such as contact sports.
This medication may increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Your doctor may direct you to avoid phototherapy while you use this product. Ask your doctor for details.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include:
- other drugs that weaken the immune system (such as azathioprine, cyclosporine, cancer chemotherapy)
This medication may interfere with certain lab tests, possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Alberta residents can call PADIS (Poison and Drug Information Service) 24 hours a day at 1-800-332-1414. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as complete blood counts) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
It is important to get each dose of this medication as scheduled. If you miss a dose, ask your doctor or pharmacist right away for a new dosing schedule.
If you have questions about missing a dose or you don't have more medication, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Not applicable. This medication is given in a hospital or clinic and will not be stored at home.
Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).