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  • Mycophenolate Mofetil (CellCept) and Mycophenolate Sodium (Myfortic)

Mycophenolate Mofetil (CellCept) and Mycophenolate Sodium (Myfortic)


Mycophenolate Mofetil (CellCept) and Mycophenolate Sodium (Myfortic) are immunosuppressant drugs used in the treatment of several autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis, inflammatory bowel disease, systemic sclerosis, autoimmune disease, and other skin and eye disorders as well. Mycophenolate is in a category of medications called DMARDs (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs). It aims to decrease inflammation to reduce long term organ damage. This medication is also used to treat patients with organ transplants to prevent rejection.

How To Take It

Mycophenolate is taken in the form of a pill. In adults, it is typically taken twice daily for a total dose of 2–3 grams (2000–3000 mg) per day. It can be taken with or without food. The dose may be reduced in people with underlying kidney problems or in those unable to tolerate higher doses. Mycophenolate should not be taken during pregnancy or if breastfeeding.

Side Effects

Mycophenolate can lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections. If you develop symptoms of an infection while using this medication, you should stop it and contact your rheumatology provider.

The most common side effects of mycophenolate are nausea, upset stomach, and stomach pain. Other possible side effects include headaches, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, tremor, or rash. While taking mycophenolate, regular laboratory monitoring is required to monitor blood counts and liver function.

Tell Your Rheumatology Provider

Notify your rheumatology provider if you have symptoms of an infection (such as fever or cough), diarrhea, or allergic reactions. You should also inform your rheumatology provider if you bruise or bleed easily, if you experience persistent or bloody diarrhea, or have shortness of breath. Mycophenolate usage should be stopped if there are signs of infection.

Mycophenolate has been associated with birth defects and pregnancy loss. If you are pregnant or considering pregnancy, let your rheumatology provider know before starting this medication. Women should discuss birth control with their primary care physicians or gynecologists. Breastfeeding should be avoided while taking this medication because the drug can enter breast milk.

While taking mycophenolate, be sure to talk with your rheumatology provider before receiving any vaccines or undergoing any surgeries. Live vaccines should be avoided, and you should discuss updating your vaccinations prior to starting mycophenolate.

Updated February 2024 by Bhakti Shah, MD, and reviewed by the American College of Rheumatology Committee on Communications and Marketing. This information is provided for general education only.

Individuals should consult a qualified health care provider for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment of a medical or health condition.

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