tacrolimus, Prograf, Astagraf XL, Hectoria

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

GENERIC NAME: tacrolimus

BRAND NAME: Prograf, Astagraf XL, Hectoria

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Tacrolimus is a drug that suppresses the immune system and is used to prevent rejection of transplanted organs. Tacrolimus 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 in April, 1994 for liver transplantation and also has been used in patients for transplantation of the heart, kidney, small bowel, and bone marrow.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Tacrolimus is used for the prevention of rejection of transplanted kidneys, liver, or heart. It can be combined with steroids, azathioprine (Imuran Azasan) or mycophenolate mofetil.

SIDE EFFECTS: Tacrolimus is associated with many and various side effects. These include:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/17/2015

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