CellCept (mycophenolate mofetil) is a prescription drug used to prevent organ rejection following certain organ transplants. The drug comes in oral forms and as a liquid solution for injection. It’s usually taken twice per day.
CellCept is used in adults and some children to prevent organ rejection following:
CellCept belongs to a group of drugs called immunosuppressants. Its active ingredient is mycophenolate mofetil. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)
CellCept comes in four forms:
- capsule that you swallow
- tablet that you swallow
- liquid suspension that you swallow, which comes as a powder that’s mixed with water
- liquid solution given by a healthcare professional as an intravenous (IV) infusion,* which comes as a powder that’s mixed with a dextrose solution
This article describes the dosages of CellCept, as well as its strengths and how to take it. To learn more about CellCept, see this in-depth article.
* An IV infusion is an injection into a vein given over a longer period of time. For CellCept, the infusion is given slowly over at least 2 hours.
Doctors prescribe CellCept with other immunosuppressant medications to prevent organ transplant rejection.
The table below lists CellCept’s dosage for adults. All doses are in milligrams (mg).
|Transplanted organ||Oral dosage||Intravenous (IV) dosage|
|kidney||1,000 mg twice per day||1,000 mg twice per day|
|heart||1,500 mg twice per day||1,500 mg twice per day|
|liver||1,500 mg twice per day||1,000 mg twice per day|
Keep reading for more details about CellCept’s dosage.
What are the forms of CellCept?
CellCept comes in four different forms:
- oral forms that you swallow:
- liquid suspension, which comes as a powder mixed with water by your pharmacist
- liquid solution for intravenous (IV) infusion, which comes as a powder that’s mixed with a dextrose solution by your doctor or another healthcare professional
What strengths does CellCept come in?
CellCept’s strengths vary by form:
- capsule: 250 mg
- tablet: 500 mg
- liquid suspension: 200 mg per milliliter (mg/mL)
- liquid solution: 500 mg per vial
What are the usual dosages of CellCept?
The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for preventing organ rejection after transplant
Within 24 hours of your transplant surgery, you’ll start treatment with CellCept. If you’re not yet ready to swallow medications, you’ll receive CellCept as an IV infusion. The IV infusion will be given to you over 2 or more hours twice per day. Once you’re able to take oral medications, your doctor will switch you to one of the oral forms of CellCept.
The oral forms of CellCept are also taken twice per day.
Your dosage depends on your transplanted organ and the form of CellCept you’re receiving:
- oral dosage: 1,000 mg twice per day
- IV dosage: 1,000 mg twice per day
- oral dosage: 1,500 mg twice per day
- IV dosage: 1,500 mg twice per day
- oral dosage: 1,500 mg twice per day
- IV dosage: 1,000 mg twice per day
What’s the dosage of CellCept for children?
Doctors may prescribe CellCept to children ages 3 months and older following a liver, heart, or kidney transplant.
The dosage depends on the organ as well as the size of the child. The child’s size is determined using body surface area (BSA), which doctors calculate using the child’s height and weight. BSA is measured in square meters (m2).
The following table highlights the recommended starting dosages of CellCept for children. Dosages are in mg and mg per square meter (mg/m2).
|Transplanted organ||Starting dosage for children with BSA less than 1.25 m2||Starting dosage for children with BSA 1.25 m2 to less than 1.5 m2||Starting dosage for children with BSA 1.5 m2 or more|
|kidney||600 mg/m2 twice per day||750 mg twice per day||1,000 mg twice per day|
|heart||600 mg/m2 twice per day||750 mg twice per day||1,000 mg twice per day|
|liver||600 mg/m2 twice per day||750 mg twice per day||1,000 mg twice per day|
If well tolerated, your child’s doctor may increase the doses. The maximum dosage for children who have had a kidney transplant is 1,000 mg twice per day. The maximum dosage for children who have had a heart or liver transplant is 1,500 mg twice per day.
Children with a BSA of 1.25 m2 or more may take any of the CellCept oral forms. For children smaller than this, doctors only prescribe the liquid suspension. CellCept is not given to children as an IV infusion.
Is CellCept used long term?
Yes, doctors usually prescribe CellCept as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that it’s safe and effective for your condition, you’ll likely take it long term.
In certain situations, your doctor may recommend lowering your CellCept dosage, including if:
- you have a new infection
- a virus from a previous infection becomes active again
- your kidney transplant shows signs of a severe decrease in function (how well it works)
- you develop neutropenia (low level of neutrophils, a kind of white blood cell that fights infection)
In some cases, you and your doctor may decide that treatment with CellCept should be temporarily paused.
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about CellCept’s dosage.
Are there foods I need to avoid while taking CellCept?
No, you don’t need to avoid any foods while taking CellCept. But it’s recommended that you take CellCept on an empty stomach. This is because having food in your stomach can slow down how quickly your body absorbs CellCept.
It’s best to take CellCept at least 1 hour after your last meal and 2 hours before you eat again.
If your transplant is stable, meaning that it hasn’t shown any signs of rejection, you can talk with your doctor about whether you still need to take CellCept on an empty stomach.
Can CellCept be used for autoimmune diseases, such as lupus or myasthenia gravis? If so, what’s the dosage?
CellCept is not approved as a treatment for autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or myasthenia gravis. But your doctor may prescribe CellCept off-label for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.
For example, if you have kidney problems from SLE, your doctor may prescribe CellCept. And if you’re trying to take fewer steroids for the treatment of myasthenia gravis, your doctor may try adding CellCept to your treatment regimen.
The drug’s manufacturer doesn’t provide dosage recommendations for unapproved uses. If you’d like to learn more about CellCept dosages for autoimmune diseases, talk with your doctor.
What’s considered a high dose of CellCept?
It depends on how you define a high dose of CellCept. A high dose could be a dose that is higher than the usual dose but not higher than the maximum dose. Or a high dose could be a dose that is higher than the maximum dose.
The table below highlights the maximum milligram (mg) dosages of the oral forms of CellCept for adults and children following kidney, heart, and liver transplants. These could be considered high doses for CellCept.
|Transplanted organ||Maximum daily dosage for a child*||Maximum daily dosage for an adult|
|kidney||2,000 mg||2,000 mg|
|heart||3,000 mg||3,000 mg|
|liver||3,000 mg||3,000 mg|
* For children with a body surface area less than 1.25 square meters (m2), the maximum dosage is calculated to be 600 mg/m2 twice per day following a kidney transplant or 900 mg/m2 twice per day following a heart or liver transplant. The calculated dose should not exceed the daily dosage listed in the table.
Sometimes in studies, a dose higher than the maximum dose may be tried for a short time to determine whether it works better in a particular situation. For example, following a kidney transplant, the usual daily dosage of CellCept is 2,000 mg. One
If you have questions about what might be considered a high dose for CellCept, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
The dosage of CellCept your doctor prescribes may depend on several factors. These include:
- the type of organ transplant you have
- your age
- the form of CellCept you’re receiving
- any complications you experience from CellCept*
- other conditions you may have*
* See the “Dosage adjustments” section above.
CellCept may be given as an intravenous (IV) infusion by your doctor when you first start your CellCept treatment. (An IV infusion is an injection into your vein given over time.) But this is usually only for the first 2 weeks. The goal is for you to take one of the oral forms of CellCept as soon as you’re able to swallow medications.
Whether you take the tablet, capsule, or oral liquid suspension, you’ll take CellCept twice per day. You should take CellCept on an empty stomach. This means that you should wait at least 1 hour after your last meal before taking CellCept and then wait 2 hours after taking CellCept before you eat again. If you’ve been told your transplant is stable (doesn’t show any signs of rejection), you can talk with your doctor about whether you need to continue to take CellCept on an empty stomach.
If you have trouble swallowing capsules or tablets, talk with your doctor about the liquid suspension. Or you can read this article for tips on how to take tablets and capsules.
If you’re prescribed the liquid suspension, your pharmacist will prepare it for you. For detailed instructions on how to take CellCept liquid suspension, see the last two pages of the drug’s prescribing information.
For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of CellCept, see this article.
Accessible drug containers and labels
Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:
- have large print or use braille
- feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
If you have trouble opening medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to supply the form of CellCept you’re prescribed in an easy-open container. They may also have tips to help make it simpler to open the drug’s container.
If you’ve missed a dose of CellCept, take it as soon as you remember. But if you’re within 2 hours of your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose entirely. Take your next dose at its regularly scheduled time. You should not take two doses of CellCept at once. If you’re not sure whether you should take a missed dose or skip it, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you need help remembering to take your dose of CellCept on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.
Do not take more CellCept than your doctor prescribes as this can lead to harmful effects.
Effects of an overdose
Symptoms caused by an overdose can include:
- abdominal pain
- indigestion (upset stomach)
What to do in case you take too much CellCept
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much CellCept. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.
The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends CellCept for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Remember, you should not change your dosage of CellCept without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take CellCept exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.
Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- How do I know when CellCept is working?
- If I experience side effects from CellCept, will you prescribe a lower dosage?
- Will you change my dosage of CellCept if changes are made to my other immunosuppressant treatments?
To learn more about CellCept, see these articles:
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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.