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What is Tacrolimus Used For?

If you have a kidney, heart, or liver transplant, your healthcare provider may prescribe tacrolimus to prevent organ rejection. Approved uses of tacrolimus also include the treatment of moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in people who have not adequately responded to other medications. A healthcare provider may also recommend this drug for "off-label" purposes, such as treating psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or Crohn's disease.

An Introduction to Uses for Tacrolimus

Tacrolimus (Prograf®, Protopic®) is a prescription immunosuppressant medication approved to prevent transplant rejection in certain people who have received liver, heart, or kidney transplants. It is also an active ingredient in an ointment that is approved to treat atopic dermatitis (eczema).

Using Tacrolimus for Transplant Rejection

An organ transplant is a surgical procedure in which an organ that is no longer working properly is replaced by a healthy organ from an organ donor. The body's immune system is responsible for protecting the body against invaders, such as viruses and bacteria. When the immune system recognizes a transplanted organ as a foreign object, it will attack it and try to get rid of it. This is called transplant rejection.
Rejection can cause the transplanted organ to fail. Because of this risk, people who receive organ transplants will usually need to take anti-rejection medicine for the rest of their life.
Tacrolimus is used after a kidney, heart, or liver transplant to help prevent rejection from occurring. It is always used in combination with other medications, including a corticosteroid (such as prednisone) and (after kidney and heart transplants) azathioprine (Imuran®) or mycophenolate (CellCept®, Myfortic®).

Tacrolimus Drug Information

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