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(mye koe fen' oh late)Risk of birth defects: Mycophenolate must not be taken by women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant. There is a higher risk that mycophenolate will cause miscarriage (loss of the pregnancy) during the first 3 months of pregnancy or will cause the baby to be born with birth defects (problems that are present at birth). You should not take mycophenolate if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant. You must have a negative pregnancy test within 1 week of the start of your treatment with mycophenolate. You must use two acceptable forms of birth control together for 4 weeks before you begin to take mycophenolate, at all times during your treatment, and for 6 weeks after you stop taking mycophenolate. Your doctor will tell you which forms of birth control are acceptable for you to use. Mycophenolate may decrease the effectiveness of oral contraceptives (birth control pills), so it is especially important to use a second form of birth control along with this type of contraceptive. Call your doctor right away if you think you are pregnant or if you miss a menstrual period. Risks of serious infections: Mycophenolate weakens the body's immune system and may decrease your ability to fight infection. Wash your hands often and avoid people who are sick while you are taking this medication. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: fever, sore throat, chills, or cough; unusual bruising or bleeding; pain or burning during urination; frequent urination; wound or sore that is red, warm, or won't heal; drainage from a skin wound; general weakness, extreme tiredness, or sick feeling; symptoms of the ''flu'' or a ''cold''; pain or swelling in the neck, groin, or armpits; white patches in the mouth or throat; cold sores; blisters; headache or earache; or other signs of infection. You may be infected with certain viruses or bacteria but not have any signs of infection. Taking mycophenolate increases the risk that these infections will become more severe and cause symptoms. Tell your doctor if you have any type of infection, including an infection that does not cause symptoms. Mycophenolate may increase the risk that you will develop progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML; a rare infection of the brain that cannot be treated, prevented, or cured and that usually causes death or severe disability). Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had PML, or another condition that affects your immune system such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS); sarcoidosis (a condition that causes swelling in the lungs and sometimes in other parts of the body); leukemia (cancer that causes too many blood cells to be produced and released into the bloodstream); or lymphoma. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: weakness on one side of the body or in the legs; difficulty or inability to control your muscles; confusion or difficulty thinking clearly; unsteadiness; memory loss; difficulty speaking or understanding what others say; or a lack of interest or concern for usual activities or things you usually care about. Mycophenolate may increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer, including lymphoma (a type of cancer that develops in the lymph system) and skin cancer. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had skin cancer. Avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to real and artificial sunlight (tanning beds, sunlamps) and light therapy and wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen (with a SPF factor of 30 or above). This will help to decrease your risk of developing skin cancer. Call your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms: pain or swelling in the neck, groin, or armpits; a new skin sore or bump; a change in the size or color of a mole; a brown or black skin lesion (sore) with uneven edges or one part of the lesion that does not look like the other; skin changes; sores that do not heal; unexplained fever; tiredness that does not go away; or weight loss. Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to mycophenolate. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking mycophenolate.