1. What Prograf® is and what it is used for
Prograf® belongs to a group of medicines called immunosuppressants. Following your organ transplant (e.g. liver, kidney, heart), your body’s immune system will try to reject the new organ.
Prograf® is used to control your body’s immune response enabling your body to accept the transplanted organ.
Prograf® is often used in combination with other medicines that also suppress the immune system.
You may also be given Prograf® for an ongoing rejection of your transplanted liver, kidney, heart or other organ or if any previous treatment you were taking was unable to control this immune response after your transplantation.
2. What you need to know before you use Prograf®
Do not use Prograf®
- If you are allergic (hypersensitive) to tacrolimus or to any antibiotic belonging to the subgroup of macrolide antibiotics (e.g. erythromycin, clarithromycin, josamycin).
- If you are allergic (hypersensitive) to any of the other ingredients of Prograf® (listed in section 6) - in particular polyoxyethylene hydrogenated castor oil or similar substances.
Warnings and precautions
Talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse before taking Prograf®
- Whilst you are receiving Prograf® your doctor may want to carry out a number of tests (including blood, urine, heart function, visual and neurological tests) from time to time. This is quite normal and will help your doctor to decide on the most appropriate dose of Prograf® for you.
- Please avoid taking any herbal remedies, e.g. St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) or any other herbal products as this may affect the effectiveness and the dose of Prograf® that you need to receive. If in doubt please consult your doctor prior to taking any herbal products or remedies.
- If you have liver problems or have had a disease which may have affected your liver, please tell your doctor as this may affect the dose of Prograf® that you receive.
- If you have diarrhoea for more than one day, please tell your doctor, because it might be necessary to adapt the dose of Prograf® that you receive.
- Limit your exposure to sunlight and UV light whilst taking Prograf® by wearing appropriate protective clothing and using a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor. This is because of the potential risk of malignant skin changes with immunosuppressive therapy.
- If you need to have any vaccinations, please inform your doctor beforehand. Your doctor will advise you on the best course of action.
Other medicines and Prograf®
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription and herbal remedies.
Prograf® must not be used with ciclosporin.
Prograf® blood levels can be affected by other medicines you take, and blood levels of other medicines can be affected by using Prograf® which may require interruption, an increase or a decrease in Prograf® dose. In particular, you should tell your doctor if you are taking or have recently taken medicines with active substances like:
- antifungal medicines and antibiotics (particularly so-called macrolide antibiotics) used to treat infections e.g. ketoconazole, fluconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole, clotrimazole, erythromycin, clarithromycin, josamycin, and rifampicin
- HIV protease inhibitors (e.g. ritonavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir), used to treat HIV infection
- HCV protease inhibitors (e.g. telaprevir, boceprevir), used to treat hepatitis C infection
- omeprazole or lansoprazole, used for treating stomach ulcers
- hormone treatments with ethinylestradiol (e.g. the oral contraceptive pill) or danazol
- medicines for high blood pressure or heart problems such as nifedipine, nicardipine, diltiazem and verapamil
- anti-arrhythmic drugs (amiodarone) used to control arrhythmia (uneven beating of the heart)
- medicines known as “statins” used to treat elevated cholesterol and triglycerides
- the anti-epileptic medicines phenytoin or phenobarbital
- the corticosteroids prednisolone and methylprednisolone
- the anti-depressant nefazodone
- St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Tell your doctor if you are taking or need to take ibuprofen, amphotericin B, or antivirals (e.g. aciclovir). These may worsen kidney or nervous system problems when taken together with Prograf®.
Your doctor also needs to know if you are taking potassium supplements or potassium-sparing diuretics (e.g., amiloride, triamterene, or spironolactone), certain pain killers (so-called NSAIDs, e.g. ibuprofen), anticoagulants, or oral medication for diabetic treatment, while you receive Prograf®.
If you need to have any vaccinations, please inform your doctor beforehand.
Prograf® with food and drink
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice should be avoided while using Prograf®.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine. Prograf® is excreted into breast milk. Therefore you should not breast-feed whilst receiving Prograf®.
Prograf® contains polyoxyethylene hydrogenated castor oil and ethanol
- Prograf® contains polyoxyethylene hydrogenated castor oil that may, in a small number of patients, lead to a severe allergic reaction. If you have previously had such a problem, please inform your doctor.
- Prograf® contains 81 vol % ethanol (alcohol), i.e. up to 638 mg per dose, equivalent to 16 ml beer, 7 ml wine per dose. Harmful for those suffering from alcoholism. To be taken into account in pregnant or breast-feeding women, children and high-risk groups such as patients with liver disease or epilepsy.
3. How to take Prograf®
The starting dose to prevent the rejection of your transplanted organ will be determined by your doctor calculated according to your body weight. Initial intravenous doses just after transplantation will generally be in the range of 0.01 – 0.10 mg per kg body weight per day depending on the transplanted organ.
Prograf® should be used for intravenous infusion only after it is diluted. You will receive Prograf® as a continuous 24-hour infusion and never as a short injection.
Prograf® may cause mild irritation if it is not infused directly into a vein.
Treatment with Prograf® should not continue for more than 7 days. Your doctor will then prescribe Prograf® capsules for you instead.
Your dose depends on your general condition and on which other immunosuppressive medication you are taking. Regular blood tests by your doctor will be required to define the correct dose and to adjust the dose from time to time.
If you receive more Prograf® than you should
If you have received too much Prograf®, your doctor will amend your next dose.
If you stop using Prograf®
Stopping your treatment with Prograf® may increase the risk of rejection of your transplanted organ. Do not stop your treatment unless your doctor tells you to do so.
If you have any further questions on the use of this product, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
4. Possible side effects
Like all medicines, Prograf® can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Prograf® reduces your body’s own defence mechanism to stop you rejecting your transplanted organ. Consequently, your body will not be as good as usual at fighting infections. So if you are taking Prograf® you may therefore catch more infections than usual such as infections of the skin, mouth, stomach and intestines, lungs and urinary tract.
Severe effects have been reported, including allergic and anaphylactic reactions. Benign and malignant tumours have been reported following Prograf® treatment as a result of immunosuppression.
Possible side effects are listed according to the following categories:
Very common side effects are experienced in more than one in ten patients.
Common side effects are experienced in less than one in ten patients but in more than one per one hundred patients.
Uncommon side effects are experienced in less than one in one hundred patients but more than one per one thousand patients.
Rare side effects are experienced in less than one per one thousand patients but more than one per ten thousand patients.
Very rare side effects are experienced in less than one per ten thousand patients.
Very common side effects (may affect more than 1 in 10 people):
- Increased blood sugar, diabetes mellitus, increased potassium in the blood
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Trembling, headache
- Increased blood pressure
- Diarrhoea, nausea
- Kidney problems
Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):
- Reduction in blood cell counts (platelets, red or white blood cells), increase in white blood cell counts, changes in red blood cell counts
- Reduced magnesium, phosphate, potassium, calcium or sodium in the blood, fluid overload, increased uric acid or lipids in the blood, decreased appetite, increased acidity of the blood, other changes in the blood salts
- Anxiety symptoms, confusion and disorientation, depression, mood changes, nightmare, hallucination, mental disorders
- Fits, disturbances in consciousness, tingling and numbness (sometimes painful) in the hands and feet, dizziness, impaired writing ability, nervous system disorders
- Blurred vision, increased sensitivity to light, eye disorders
- Ringing sound in your ears
- Reduced blood flow in the heart vessels, faster heartbeat
- Bleeding, partial or complete blocking of blood vessels, reduced blood pressure
- Shortness in breath, changes in the lung tissue, collection of liquid around the lung, inflammation of the pharynx, cough, flu-like symptoms
- Inflammations or ulcers causing abdominal pain or diarrhoea, bleeds in the stomach, inflammations or ulcers in the mouth, collection of fluid in the belly, vomiting, abdominal pains, indigestion, constipation, flatulence, bloating, loose stools, stomach problems
- Changes in liver enzymes and function, yellowing of the skin due to liver problems, liver tissue damage and inflammation of the liver
- Itching, rash, hair loss, acne, increased sweating
- Pain in joints, limbs or back, muscle cramps
- Insufficient function of the kidneys, reduced production of urine, impaired or painful urination
- General weakness, fever, collection of fluid in your body, pain and discomfort, increase of the enzyme alkaline phosphatase in your blood, weight gain, feeling of temperature disturbed
- Insufficient function of your transplanted organ
Uncommon side effects (may affect up to 1 in 100 people):
- Changes in blood clotting, reduction in all blood cell counts
- Dehydration, reduced protein or sugar in the blood, increased phosphate in the blood
- Coma, bleeding in the brain, stroke, paralysis, brain disorder, speech and language abnormalities, memory problems
- Blurring of the vision due to abnormality in the lens of the eye
- Impaired hearing
- Irregular heartbeat, stop of heartbeat, reduced performance of your heart, disorder of the heart muscle, enlargement of the heart muscle, stronger heartbeat, abnormal ECG, heart rate and pulse abnormal
- Blood clot in a vein of a limb, shock
- Difficulties in breathing, respiratory tract disorders, asthma
- Obstruction of the gut, increased blood level of the enzyme amylase, reflux of stomach content in your throat, delayed emptying of the stomach
- Dermatitis, burning sensation in the sunlight
- Joint disorders
- Inability to urinate, painful menstruation and abnormal menstrual bleeding
- Failure of some organs, influenza like illness, increased sensitivity to heat and cold, feeling of pressure on your chest, jittery or abnormal feeling, increase of the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase in your blood, weight loss
Rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people):
- Small bleeds in your skin due to blood clots
- Increased muscle stiffness
- Collection of fluid around the heart
- Acute breathlessness
- Cyst formation in your pancreas
- Problems with blood flow in the liver
- Serious illness with blistering of skin, mouth, eyes and genitals, increased hairiness
- Thirst, fall, feeling of tightness in your chest, decreased mobility, ulcer
Very rare side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people):
- Muscular weakness
- Echocardiogram abnormal
- Liver failure, narrowing of the bile vessel
- Painful urination with blood in the urine
- Increase of fat tissue
Cases of pure red cell aplasia (a very severe reduction in red blood cell counts), agranulocytosis (a severely lowered number of white blood cells) and haemolytic anaemia (decreased number of red blood cells due to abnormal breakdown) have been reported.
Reporting of side effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
5. How to store Prograf®
Keep out of the sight and reach of children.
Do not use Prograf® after the expiry date which is stated on the carton and ampoule after EXP. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
Store ampoule in the original package in order to protect from light.
Do not store above 25 °C.
6. Contents of the pack and other information
What Prograf® contains
- The active substance is tacrolimus. 1 ml of concentrate for solution for infusion contains 5 mg of tacrolimus.
- The other ingredients are polyoxyethylene hydrogenated castor oil and dehydrated alcohol.
What Prograf® looks like and contents of the pack
The concentrate is a clear colourless solution supplied in transparent glass ampoules. Each ampoule contains 1 ml of concentrate for solution for infusion, which must be diluted before use. Each carton contains 10 ampoules.
Marketing Authorisation Holder and Manufacturer
Marketing Authorisation Holder:
Astellas Pharma Ltd.
2000 Hillswood Drive
Astellas Ireland Co. Ltd.
This medicinal product is authorised in the Member States of the EEA under the following names:
Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom.
Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands