Cancer Home > Precautions and Warnings With Hecoria

Because Hecoria is associated with potentially dangerous complications, such as nervous system problems and serious infections, it is important to discuss your complete medical history with your healthcare provider before beginning treatment with this drug. This includes a current list of all medications and supplements you are taking. Other safety precautions include warnings for women who are pregnant or nursing.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Hecoria™ (tacrolimus) if you have:
  • Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Diabetes
  • Lymphoma, skin cancer, or any other type of cancer
  • An infection of any kind
  • Plans to receive a vaccine
  • A history of anemia
  • Been told you have electrolyte problems, such as low blood phosphate or magnesium
  • Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Hecoria Precautions and Warnings

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of before taking this medication include the following:
  • You should only use this medicine under the direction of a healthcare provider who has experience prescribing medications that suppress the immune system and treating people who have had an organ transplant.
  • This medication increases your risk for developing cancer, especially skin cancer and lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). You can help reduce your risk for skin cancer by limiting your time in the sun, using sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of at least 30, and wearing protective clothing, such as hats, long pants, and long sleeves. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice signs of skin cancer or lymphoma, such as any type of skin changes or lumps in your neck, underarms, or groin area.
  • Because Hecoria weakens the immune system, you may be more likely to develop an infection during treatment, including potentially serious or life-threatening infections. If you received a kidney transplant, you could also become infected with certain viruses that can damage your new kidney. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you experience symptoms of an infection, such as:
    • Fever
    • Muscle aches
    • Sweats
    • Chills
    • Sores on your skin that do not heal.
  • Hecoria may cause diabetes in certain people. Hispanic or African American people who have received a kidney transplant appear to be at a higher risk for diabetes with Hecoria use. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience any signs of diabetes, such as:
    • Frequent urination
    • Increased thirst or hunger
    • Weight loss
    • Blurred vision.
  • This medicine can cause kidney damage, especially when used in high doses. Your healthcare provider will monitor your kidney function during treatment.
  • Hecoria can cause neurotoxicity, or problems with the nervous system, particularly in high doses. Severe problems can include seizures, coma, and encephalopathy (a medical term for a disease of the brain that causes altered brain function). Less severe problems, such as tremors, tingling and numbness of the skin, and headaches, may also occur. Seek immediate medical care if you experience any signs of encephalopathy, such as:
    • Confusion
    • Vision changes
    • Muscle weakness
    • Problems with movement
    • Seizures.
  • This medicine may increase your blood pressure. You may need treatment with blood pressure medication. It can also cause abnormally high blood potassium levels (hyperkalemia). Your healthcare provider will monitor you for these and other Hecoria side effects. Make sure to keep all of your healthcare provider and laboratory appointments.
  • Hecoria has been reported to cause heart disease in which the heart muscle thickens, preventing the heart from functioning properly. This side effect is more likely to occur with high blood levels of Hecoria. If you begin to develop signs of heart problems, your healthcare provider may lower your Hecoria dosage or stop your treatment altogether, as this side effect appears to be reversible.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider before getting any type of vaccination or immunization during Hecoria treatment. Hecoria can make vaccines less effective. Also, people taking Hecoria should not receive "live" vaccinations (see Drug Interactions With Hecoria).
  • This medication has been reported to cause low blood cells, including red blood cells (anemia) and platelets. Your healthcare provider will monitor your blood cell counts with simple blood tests during Hecoria treatment. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience any symptoms of anemia or other blood cell problems, such as:
    • Fatigue
    • Weakness
    • Infections
    • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Hecoria is a pregnancy Category C medication, which means it may not be safe for use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this drug during pregnancy (see Hecoria and Pregnancy).
  • Hecoria passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Hecoria and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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