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Tacrolimus Belongs To The Class Of Medication Called Immunosuppressants - Daynighthealthcare
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Tacrolimus belongs to the class of medication called immunosuppressants. It is used to prevent or treat the body's rejection of an allogeneic (from a donor) transplanted kidney, liver, or heart.
Mechanism of action:
This drug accomplishes its immune-suppressing effect by inhibiting an enzyme (calcineurin) that is crucial for the multiplication of T-cells which are vital to the immune process. The use of oral tacrolimus allows transplantation specialists to reduce the dose of steroids which also are used to prevent rejection. This "steroid-sparing effect" is important because of the many side effects that can occur when larger doses of steroids are used for a long period of time. Tacrolimus was approved by the FDA for liver transplantation and also has been used in patients for transplantation of the heart, kidney, small bowel, and bone marrow.
This medicine is used for the prevention of rejection of transplanted kidneys, liver, or heart. It can be combined with steroids, azathioprine or mycophenolate mofetil.
The absorption of tacrolimus is not bile dependent; therefore, it can be given orally within 24 hours of liver transplantation, and therapeutic blood levels can be maintained and intravenous administration discontinued usually within 72 hours of transplantation. The length and cost of hospital stay after liver transplantation have been significantly lower for patients receiving this medicine .
Side effects: These include
fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
change in your mental state, problems with speech or walking, decreased vision
pale or yellowed skin, dark colored urine, confusion or weakness;
feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
pain in the lower back or side, blood in your urine, pain or burning when you urinate;
urinating less than usual or not at all;
dry cough, cough with mucus or blood, sweating, wheezing, gasping for breath, chest pain;
tremors (shaking), seizure (convulsions);
high potassium (slow heart rate, weak pulse, muscle weakness, tingly feeling);
high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats); or
high blood sugar
The destruction of tacrolimus by the body may be inhibited by a large number of drugs, resulting in higher blood levels of this drug and possibly increasing its side effects. Such drugs include lansoprazole , omeprazole protease inhibitors for example, nelfinavir and ritonavir bromocriptine , cimetidine , cisapride , clarithromycin, cyclosporine , danazol , diltiazem, erythromycin, fluconazole , itraconazole, ketoconazole , metoclopramide , methylprednisolone , nicardipine , troleandomycin , and verapamil
Oral tacrolimus is taken twice daily. Starting doses range between 0.075 mg/kg/day to 0.2 mg/kg/day. Doses vary widely and are based on tests that measure the amount of tacrolimus in the blood.
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.
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