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Sandimmune is a medicine used in combination with other medicines to help prevent organ rejection in people who have had a kidney, liver, or heart transplant. Sandimmune is available as capsules, oral solution, and an intravenous injection (injected into the vein). Sandimmune intravenous injection is for hospital use only.
How does this medication work?
Your immune system is your body's defense against things that can cause infection and disease. Unfortunately, it cannot tell the difference between a harmful virus or bacteria and your new organ, so its natural response is to reject it. Sandimmune works by stopping your immune system from rejecting your new organ.
What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?
What: Sandimmune has been shown to extend survival in people receiving a transplant.
When: Though you may not feel a change in the way you feel, it is very important to keep taking your medicine as prescribed to prevent your body from rejecting your new organ.
How do I know it is working?
Your healthcare provider may order tests regularly and may ask you questions from time to time to assess how well this medication is working.
The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.
Sandimmune can increase your risk of developing infections and lymphoma (a type of cancer involving cells of the immune system, called lymphocytes) and other types of cancers (including skin cancer). Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you have symptoms of an infection such as a fever; sweats or chills; cough or flu-like symptoms; muscle aches; or warm, red, or painful areas on your skin.
Do not use other similar medicines in place of Sandimmune (such as Neoral) without first talking to your healthcare provider.
More common side effects may include: kidney problems, shaking, excessive growth of facial or body hair in women, high blood pressure, gum enlargement.
Less common side effects may include:
Low blood count, with symptoms such as red or purple spots on your skin, bruising, bleeding from your mouth, teeth, or nose.
Liver problems with symptoms such as nausea, tiredness, weakness, itching, yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, right upper stomach pain, and flu-like symptoms.
Nervous system problems, with symptoms such as confusion, muscle tremors, numbness and tingling, headache, seizures, or changes in your vision.
Sandimmune can also cause serious kidney problems and high blood potassium levels.
Sandimmune injection may cause serious allergic reactions, with symptoms such as flushing of the face and neck, difficulty breathing, wheezing, changes in your blood pressure, or increased heart rate.
Do not take Sandimmune if you are allergic to it, any of its ingredients, or to polyoxyethylated castor oil (Cremophor El).
Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Sandimmune. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney and liver problems; seizures; uncontrolled high blood pressure; any type of cancer; if you have a history of alcohol abuse; plan to receive any live vaccines; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.
Adults and children ≥6 months: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you or your child, based on the condition and the body weight.
If you have kidney or liver impairment, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.
Take Sandimmune exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Sandimmune without first talking to your healthcare provider.
Take Sandimmune with or without food.
To make the medicine taste better, Sandimmune oral solution can be mixed with a glass of room temperature milk, chocolate milk, or orange juice. Stir well and drink immediately. Do not rinse the dosage syringe with water or any other cleaning agent. If it requires cleaning, make sure the syringe is completely dry before reusing. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you are not sure what dose you should take or if you are not sure how to use the dosing syringe.
Taking Sandimmune at the same time each day helps to keep enough medicine in your body to give your transplanted organ the around-the-clock medicine it needs.
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are taking Sandimmune.
Do not receive any live vaccines (such as flu vaccine through your nose, or measles, mumps, rubella, polio, tuberculosis, yellow fever, chicken pox, or typhoid vaccines) while you are taking Sandimmune.
Do not miss any scheduled follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider.
If Sandimmune is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Sandimmune may interact with numerous medications. Therefore, it is very important that you tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking.
The effects of Sandimmune during pregnancy are unknown. Sandimmune can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Sandimmune. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
Sandimmune should be taken under special circumstances determined by your healthcare provider. If you miss your scheduled dose, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist for advice.
Store Sandimmune capsules and oral solution at room temperature. Use oral solution within 2 months of opening.
In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222
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