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Registered Nurse (RN)
Pharmacological Nursing
Tacrolimus (Prograf) Side Effects

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Tacrolimus (Prograf) Side Effects

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Tacrolimus (Prograf) Side Effects

Tacrolimus is an immunosuppressant medication used to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients and is also indicated in the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Side effects of tacrolimus include nephro- and neurotoxicity, infection, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, hypertension, hyperkalemia, and hyperglycemia. Patients taking tacrolimus should not drink grapefruit juice, as it prevents the drug from being metabolized and can lead to toxicity.
Kidney with Toxic-green-glow

Lab values indicative of kidney function, such as BUN and creatinine, should be monitored closely in patients taking tacrolimus, as this medication can cause severe kidney damage.

Nerve with Toxic-green-glow

Patients taking tacrolimus may experience symptoms of neurotoxicity, including headache, tremors, and insomnia. Patients should not drink grapefruit juice while taking this medication, as it prevents the drug from being metabolized and can lead to toxicity.

GI Distress
GI with Flare-gun

Patients taking this medication may experience GI distress, including, but not limited to, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.


Suppression of the immune system increases a patient’s risk of developing an infection and even increases the risk of malignancies. Early signs of infection, such as a fever, should be reported to a healthcare professional immediately to avoid hospitalization or death.


Increased blood pressure or hypertension may occur in patients taking Tacrolimus. This condition can be treated with antihypertensive medication.


Tacrolimus can cause retention of potassium, which can lead to hyperkalemia. For this reason, patients taking this medication should avoid foods high in potassium.


Patients taking tacrolimus may experience increased blood glucose levels, as this medication can interfere with insulin secretion in the body. Monitor the patient’s glucose frequently while on this medication.


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