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What is mycophenolate and why is it prescribed?

Mycophenolate is a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD). Its full name is mycophenolate mofetil.

DMARDs dampen down the underlying disease process, rather than simply treat the symptoms. They reduce the activity of the body's defence system (immune system), which may be overactive in some inflammatory conditions.

Mycophenolate is used mainly to treat several different types of rheumatic conditions, including:

  • lupus and other rare connective tissue disorders including scleroderma
  • diseases in which there’s inflammation of blood vessels, for example vasculitis.

Mycophenolate may also be used after organ transplantation, for example in kidney transplants. This is to help stop the body rejecting the new organ.

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