Mycophenolate Print Page

What is Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF)?

  • Mycophenolate mofetil (Cellcept) was originally used a treatment to prevent rejection in organ transplantation.
  • It has also been increasingly used as an effective steroid sparing treatment in autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosis, and vasculitis.

What is the typical dose for Mycophenolate mofetil?

  • MMF tablets are usually taken twice a day.
  • The usual dose ranges from 500 – 1500mg twice a day.

How does Mycophenolate mofetil work?

  • MMF prevents the formation of a type of white blood cell called lymphocytes involved in the immune system which are involved in various immune diseases. Lymphocytes are also important in helping fight infections.

How soon will I feel the effect of Mycophenolate mofetil?

  • Most people find an improvement in symptoms within 6-8 weeks after starting MMF .

What are the possible side effects of Mycophenolate mofetil?

  • Stomach upset
  • Skin rash including acne
  • Headache
  • Small increased risk for infections
  • Lower blood counts
  • Increased risk of bleeding
  • Miscarriage and/or congenital malformations when used during pregnancy
  • Small increased risk of certain types of cancers (skin, lymphoma)

Is there a way to reduce the chance of side effects?

  • Always follow the directions as provided by your physician.
  • Make sure your doctor knows any other medical problems you have, including kidney or liver problems, and other medications you may be taking.
  • Your physician may ask you to complete regular bloodwork while you take MMF.
  • You should not become pregnant or breast feed while on MMF. You should be off MMF for at least 6 weeks prior to conception.
  • Discuss any planned vaccinations with your doctor; avoid live vaccines while on MMF.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take the missed dose as soon as you remember but if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and use the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to “make up” for the missed dose.

How do I safely stop Mycophenolate mofetil?

  • If necessary, it is safe to just stop MMF; you do not need to slowly reduce the dose. However, keep in mind, if you were gaining any benefit from MMF, it will usually take at least 6 weeks to lose it.


For more information about mycophenolate, or for questions that are specific to your situation, always consult your physician.

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