Prograf (Page 6 of 12)

Information for Patients

Patients should be informed of the need for repeated appropriate laboratory tests while they are receiving Prograf. They should be given complete dosage instructions, advised of the potential risks during pregnancy, and informed of the increased risk of neoplasia. Patients should be informed that changes in dosage should not be undertaken without first consulting their physician.

Patients should be informed that Prograf can cause diabetes mellitus and should be advised of the need to see their physician if they develop frequent urination, increased thirst or hunger.

As with other immunosuppressive agents, owing to the potential risk of malignant skin changes, exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) light should be limited by wearing protective clothing and using a sunscreen with a high protection factor.

Laboratory Tests

Serum creatinine, potassium, and fasting glucose should be assessed regularly. Routine monitoring of metabolic and hematologic systems should be performed as clinically warranted.

Drug Interactions

Due to the potential for additive or synergistic impairment of renal function, care should be taken when administering Prograf with drugs that may be associated with renal dysfunction. These include, but are not limited to, aminoglycosides, amphotericin B, and cisplatin. Initial clinical experience with the co-administration of Prograf and cyclosporine resulted in additive/synergistic nephrotoxicity. Patients switched from cyclosporine to Prograf should receive the first Prograf dose no sooner than 24 hours after the last cyclosporine dose. Dosing may be further delayed in the presence of elevated cyclosporine levels.

Drugs that May Alter Tacrolimus Concentrations

Since tacrolimus is metabolized mainly by the CYP3A enzyme systems, substances known to inhibit these enzymes may decrease the metabolism or increase bioavailability of tacrolimus as indicated by increased whole blood or plasma concentrations. Drugs known to induce these enzyme systems may result in an increased metabolism of tacrolimus or decreased bioavailability as indicated by decreased whole blood or plasma concentrations. Monitoring of blood concentrations and appropriate dosage adjustments are essential when such drugs are used concomitantly.

*Drugs That May Increase Tacrolimus Blood Concentrations
This table is not all inclusive.
In a study of 6 normal volunteers, a significant increase in tacrolimus oral bioavailability (14±5% vs. 30±8%) was observed with concomitant ketoconazole administration (200 mg). The apparent oral clearance of tacrolimus during ketoconazole administration was significantly decreased compared to tacrolimus alone (0.430±0.129 L/hr/kg vs. 0.148±0.043 L/hr/kg). Overall, IV clearance of tacrolimus was not significantly changed by ketoconazole co-administration, although it was highly variable between patients.
Lansoprazole (CYP2C19, CYP3A4 substrate) may potentially inhibit CYP3A4-mediated metabolism of tacrolimus and thereby substantially increase tacrolimus whole blood concentrations, especially in transplant patients who are intermediate or poor CYP2C19 metabolizers, as compared to those patients who are efficient CYP2C19 metabolizers.


Channel Blockers




diltiazem clotrimazole clarithromycin
nicardipine fluconazole erythromycin
nifedipine itraconazole troleandomycin
verapamil ketoconazole
Gastrointestinal Prokinetic Agents


cisapride bromocriptine
metoclopramide chloramphenicol
ethinyl estradiol
protease inhibitors
*Drugs That May Decrease Tacrolimus Blood Concentrations
This table is not all inclusive.
Anticonvulsants Antimicrobials
carbamazepine rifabutin
phenobarbital caspofungin
phenytoin rifampin
Herbal Preparations Other Drugs
St. John’s Wort sirolimus

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) induces CYP3A4 and P-glycoprotein. Since tacrolimus is a substrate for CYP3A4, there is the potential that the use of St. John’s Wort in patients receiving Prograf could result in reduced tacrolimus levels.

In a single-dose crossover study in healthy volunteers, co-administration of tacrolimus and magnesium-aluminum-hydroxide resulted in a 21% increase in the mean tacrolimus AUC and a 10% decrease in the mean tacrolimus Cmax relative to tacrolimus administration alone.

In a study of 6 normal volunteers, a significant decrease in tacrolimus oral bioavailability (14±6% vs. 7±3%) was observed with concomitant rifampin administration (600 mg). In addition, there was a significant increase in tacrolimus clearance (0.036±0.008 L/hr/kg vs. 0.053±0.010 L/hr/kg) with concomitant rifampin administration.

Interaction studies with drugs used in HIV therapy have not been conducted. However, care should be exercised when drugs that are nephrotoxic (e.g., ganciclovir) or that are metabolized by CYP3A (e.g., nelfinavir, ritonavir) are administered concomitantly with tacrolimus. Based on a clinical study of 5 liver transplant recipients, co-administration of tacrolimus with nelfinavir increased blood concentrations of tacrolimus significantly and, as a result, a reduction in the tacrolimus dose by an average of 16-fold was needed to maintain mean trough tacrolimus blood concentrations of 9.7 ng/mL. Thus, frequent monitoring of tacrolimus blood concentrations and appropriate dosage adjustments are essential when nelfinavir is used concomitantly. Tacrolimus may affect the pharmacokinetics of other drugs (e.g., phenytoin) and increase their concentration. Grapefruit juice affects CYP3A-mediated metabolism and should be avoided (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Following co-administration of tacrolimus and sirolimus (2 or 5 mg/day) in stable renal transplant patients, mean tacrolimus AUC0-12 and Cmin decreased approximately by 30% relative to tacrolimus alone. Mean tacrolimus AUC0-12 and Cmin following co-administration of 1 mg/day of sirolimus decreased approximately 3% and 11%, respectively. The safety and efficacy of tacrolimus used in combination with sirolimus for the prevention of graft rejection has not been established and is not recommended.

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