Tacrolimus (Oral)

Tacrolimus (By Mouth)

Tacrolimus (ta-KROE-li-mus)

Keeps your body from rejecting an organ transplant, such as a kidney or liver.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to tacrolimus.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to take and how often. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than your doctor tells you to.  
  • You may take this medicine with or without food, but take it the same way each time. Take the medicine at evenly spaced intervals (such as exactly every 12 hours if you are taking the medicine twice daily).

If a dose is missed::

  • This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.  
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking cyclosporine (Neoralreg;, Sandimmunereg;), St. John’s wort, antibiotics, cancer medicines, diuretics or “water pills” (such as Aldactazidereg;, Aldactonereg;, Dyazidereg;, Maxzidereg;, Midamorreg;, Modureticreg;), heart or blood pressure medicine (such as verapamil, Adalatreg;, Calanreg;, Cardizemreg;, Lotrelreg;, Plendilreg;, Procardiareg;, Tiazacreg;), or medicine for seizures (such as Dilantinreg;, Luminalreg;, Tegretolreg;). There are many other medicines that may interact with tacrolimus. Tell your doctor about ALL other medicines you are using.  
  • Talk to your doctor before getting flu shots or other vaccines while you are receiving tacrolimus. Vaccines may not work as well while you are using this medicine.  
  • Do not drink alcohol, eat grapefruit, or drink grapefruit juice while you are taking this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or high blood pressure.  
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.  
  • This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.  
  • Some people who have had transplants and used tacrolimus have developed diabetes, especially people who are Hispanic or African-American and have had a kidney transplant. You may also have a higher risk of skin cancer or cancer of the lymph system while using tacrolimus. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about these risks.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in face or hands, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, tightness in chest, trouble breathing  
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate  
  • Confusion, weakness, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, numbness or tingling in hands, feet, or lips  
  • Fast, slow, pounding, or irregular heartbeat  
  • Fever, chills, sore throat, cough  
  • Increased thirst or hunger  
  • Numbness, tingling, swelling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet  
  • Tremors or shaking  
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Mild skin rash  
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, upset stomach  
  • Stomach pain  
  • Trouble sleeping

Johns Hopkins patient information

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 16.02.
Revision date: July 4, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD

Drugs & Medications

  A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

The drug reference included in this section is provided by Cerner Multum, Inc., of Denver, Colorado. Armenian Medical Network receives monthly updates from Multum.