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When you go through an organ transplant, your doctor may prescribe tacrolimus to you. This medication weakens your immune system to make sure that it doesn’t attack your newly transplanted organ.
Modifying your immune system is serious, and it can lead to severe reactions if you don’t follow your doctor and prescription label’s directions. So stick to what they advise you, which should include taking your medication at the same time each day.
If you have any questions about your directions, ask your doctor as soon as possible.
Tacrolimus comes with a number of risks.
You can raise your chance of developing serious infections, lymphoma, or other cancers. So call your doctor immediately if you notice that you have any signs of infection, such as fever, chills, and skin sores, while on tacrolimus. And avoid anyone who looks like they might have an infection. Also, stay on the lookout for signs that you might have a brain infection like problems with speech, walking or vision.
Another thing to consider is sunscreen. Using tacrolimus can make you burn more easily, so put on protective clothing and sunscreen of SPF 30 or more. And avoid sunlight or tanning beds.
Side effects from tacrolimus can vary in terms of intensity.
Common side effects can include weakness, tremors, nausea, headaches, sleep problems, and swollen hands/feet.
Side effects that you should report to your doctor right away include the following: pain or swelling near your transplanted organ, change in cognitive or visual faculties, numbness, little to no urination, fast/pounding heartbeats, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high potassium level, low magnesium/phosphate, anemia, infections, and stomach bleeding.
You can lower your risk for some side effects from tacrolimus by avoiding drinking alcoholic beverages and consuming grapefruit and grapefruit-related products.