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What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Tacrolimus Overview

Written by FoundHealth.

(ta KROE li mus)

U.S. Brand Names

Prograf®; Protopic®

Canadian Brand Names

Advagraf™; Prograf®; Protopic®

Mexican Brand Names

Limustin; Proalid; Prograf; Protopic

Pharmacologic Category

Calcineurin Inhibitor; Immunosuppressant Agent; Topical Skin Product

What key warnings should I know about before taking this medicine?

• Long-term use may increase risk of cancer and serious infections.

• Protopic®: Please read the medication guide.

• Protopic®: Do not give to a child <2 years old.

• This medicine does not mix well with many medicines. Serious reactions may occur. Check all medicines with healthcare provider.

Reasons not to take this medicine

• Protopic®: Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 2 years of age.

• If you have an allergy to tacrolimus or any other part of this medicine.

• Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved.

• If you are breast-feeding.

How does it work?

• Tacrolimus helps the body accept a transplanted organ.

• It decreases the body's harmful response to diseases affecting the immune system.

How is it best taken?


• Take this medicine on an empty stomach. Take 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.

• Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.

• Follow diet plan and exercise program as recommended by healthcare provider.


• This medicine is given as a shot into a vein over a period of time.


• Do not take this medicine by mouth. For skin only. Keep out of mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).

• Wash hands before and after use. Do not wash hands after use if applying to the hand area.

• Apply a thin layer to the affected skin and rub in gently.

• Do not bathe, shower, or swim right after applying.

What do I do if I miss a dose? (does not apply to patients in the hospital)

• Use a missed dose as soon as possible.

• If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule.

• Do not use a double dose or extra doses.

• Do not change dose or stop medicine. Talk with healthcare provider.

What should I monitor?

All forms:

• Change in condition being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?


• Check blood work regularly. Talk with healthcare provider.

• Follow up with healthcare provider.

How should I store this medicine?

• Store at room temperature.

• Protect capsules from moisture. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.

General statements

• If you have a life-threatening allergy, wear allergy identification at all times.

• Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.

• Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.

• Most medicines can be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.

• Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, natural products, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, physician assistant).

• Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or in Canada to Health Canada's Canada Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.

• Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter, natural products, or vitamins.

Created: 2005-04-07 17:20:35.0

Modified: 2010-03-09 08:30:09.0

Lexi-PALS TM © (1977)-(2007) Lexi-Comp, Inc. All rights reserved.



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