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Where is Tacrolimus used?

Tacrolimus is a prescription medicine used to prevent rejections of a heart, kidney, or liver transplant. This is also used to treat transplant rejection when other immunosuppressants have failed to control the rejection. This is in the class of medications called immunosuppressants. This weakens your body’s defense system to help your body accept the new organ as if it were your own. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this prescription.

How does Tacrolimus work?

Tacrolimus is an immunosuppressant drug and is used to dampen down the activity of cells in the immune system. When you receive an organ transplant, the cells of the donor, although matched as closely as possible to yours, will not be identical to yours. This means that your immune system will recognize the tissue as foreign and try to attack the transplanted organ. This can result in the rejection of the transplanted organ. 

This medication suppresses the activity of the cells in your immune system that would normally attack the transplanted tissue. This acts on white blood cells and blocks the action of a substance called calcineurin. Wherein, it is to be found in white blood cells called T-lymphocytes. This action prevents T-lymphocytes from producing substances called lymphokines. Lymphokines are normally produced by the T-lymphocytes when a foreign substance is detected in the body. The purpose of lymphokines is to stimulate the production of more T and B lymphocytes. The white blood cells are responsible for regulating and triggering immune responses. The T and B lymphocytes attack foreign invaders and defend the body against infection and foreign cells. 

How is Tacrolimus taken?

Tacrolimus is usually taken every 12 hours or as directed by your doctor. Each dose may be taken with or without a meal. If you have nausea or an upset stomach, you may take this medication with food. The recommended dosage is based on your medical condition and response to the treatment. Your doctor may direct you to start at a lower dose and eventually increase it. Drink plenty of fluids while having this treatment. Doing so may lessen the risk of certain side effects.

Do not suddenly stop taking Tacrolimus without the consent of your doctor. Even if you feel well, continue to take the medication until the full prescription is done.

What are the possible side effects of Tacrolimus?

  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite 

What are the precautions in using Tacrolimus?

  • If you get a cold or other infection while receiving this medication, call your doctor right away. 
  • This drug increases your susceptibility to infections because the suppressed immune system is less able to fight them. For this reason, you need to consult your doctor right away if you develop any signs of infection. 
  • Use this with caution in people with decreased liver or kidney function as well as with heart disease, hypertension, and edema. 
  • This medication should not be used in people who are allergic to Tacrolimus. Let your doctor know if you ever had an allergic reaction to this product before.     
  • Tacrolimus is to be used with caution in people with high blood pressure, fluid overload or edema, abnormal heart rhythm, or with heart disease.