Rapamune is a drug that your doctor may recommend if you have a lung condition or are getting an organ transplant.

Rapamune is a prescription drug.

  • preventing kidney transplant rejection in adults and some children
  • There is a rare lung condition called LAM.

Sirolimus is the active ingredient in Rapamune. An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.

Rapamune comes in two different forms.

  • A liquid solution that you swallow.
  • A tablet that you swallow.

For more information about Rapamune, including details about its uses, see this in-depth article.

Rapamune can cause mild to serious side effects. Continue reading to learn more.

These are just a few of the more common side effects reported by people who took Rapamune in studies. These side effects can vary depending on the condition the drug is being used to treat.

More common side effects in people taking Rapamune to prevent kidney transplant rejection include:

The side effects explained section is where you can learn more about this side effect.

People taking Rapamune for LAM have more common side effects.

There are other possible side effects of Rapamune.

“Mild side effects of Repatha don’t require medical attention. Rapamune has had some mild side effects reported.”

The side effects explained section is where you can learn more about this side effect.

These side effects should be temporary. Some may be easy to manage. If you have any symptoms that bother you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Unless your doctor recommends it, you should not stop taking Rapamune.

Rapamune may cause mild side effects other than the ones listed above. See the drug’s prescribing information for details.

Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks side effects of the medication. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Rapamune, visit MedWatch.

Rapamune can cause serious side effects. There have been serious side effects reported with Rapamune.

* Rapamune has a boxed warning for this side effect. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To learn more, see the “Side effects explained” section below.
† To learn more about this side effect, see the “Side effects explained” section below.
‡ An allergic reaction is possible after using Rapamune. But it’s not clear whether this side effect occurred in studies.

If you develop serious side effects while taking Rapamune, call your doctor. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you have a medical emergency, immediately call the emergency number.

Get answers to questions about Rapamune.

Are there any long-term side effects of Rapamune?

“Rapamune has some side effects that may be long term. Rapamune’s side effects are mild and go away after a short time.”

Examples of Rapamune side effects that may become long term include increased cholesterol levels and There are problems with the kidneys.. Some long-term side effects may require treatment.

Rapamune can cause a weakened immune system as long as you take it. Side effects may continue after you stop treatment.

If you are concerned about long-term side effects from Rapamune treatment, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They can tell you more about the long-term effects of the drug and suggest ways to manage them.

Are there foods that may increase my risk of side effects from Rapamune?

Yes, there are foods that could increase your risk of side effects from Rapamune, specifically grapefruit and grapefruit juice.

Your liver uses an enzyme called CYP3A4 to process certain drugs, including Rapamune. Grapefruit prevents this enzyme from working as well as it should. This can cause Rapamune to build up in your body, which increases your risk of side effects.

Rapamune should not be taken with any fruit juice or grapefruit. Rapamune liquid solution should not be mixed with grapefruit juice. Water or orange juice is the only way to suck Rapamune.

If you are concerned about consuming other foods while taking Rapamune, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Can Rapamune cause cancer?

Although rare, it’s possible. Rapamune has a boxed warning for increased risk of certain cancers, as well as infections, due to a weakened immune system. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Studies of Rapamune reported a few instances of lymphoma (cancer of the lymph system) and skin cancer occurring.

People taking cyclosporine and Rapamune had this side effect more often. It is not known if taking cyclosporine with Rapamune increases the risk of cancer.

For more about Rapamune’s boxed warning for increased risk of infections and certain cancers due to a weakened immune system, see the “Side effects explained” section below. And if you have questions about your risk of developing certain cancers with Rapamune, talk with your doctor.

Rapamune may cause some side effects.

Increased risk of infections and certain cancers due to a weakened immune system

Rapamune has a boxed warning for increased risk of infections and certain cancers due to a weakened immune system.* Boxed warnings are the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The immune system helps the body fight infection and disease. Rapamune weakens the immune system, which increases the risk of infections. These infections can be bacterial, viral, or fungal, and in some cases they may be life threatening.

Rapamune can also increase the risk of certain cancers, such as lymphoma (cancer of the lymph system) and skin cancer.

There are symptoms of an infection.

  • There is a high degree of There is a high degree of fever..
  • sore throat.
  • cough
  • There are skin sores.
  • swollen glands

Rapamune may cause some symptoms of cancer.

* Rapamune also has a boxed warning for increased risk of serious problems after a lung or liver transplant. For more information, see the “Warnings for Rapamune” section below.

What might help

It’s recommended that only doctors with specialized training in kidney transplants and use of medications that affect immune system response prescribe Rapamune to prevent kidney transplant rejection.

The following tips can help you reduce your risk of infections.

  • You should wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid large crowds.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • People who are sick should not be near each other.
  • Fruits and vegetables are included in your diet.

If you have symptoms of infection or an infection that won’t go away, talk with your doctor. They may recommend medication to treat the infection. Your doctor may also have you take antibiotics to prevent infections before you start Rapamune treatment.

Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tanning beds, and protecting your skin from sunlight can help reduce your risk of cancer.

If you have any of the symptoms, please let your doctor know. They will likely do tests to determine if you have cancer and discuss treatment options that are right for you.

If you have concerns about infections or cancer occurring while taking Rapamune, talk to your doctor.

Increased blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides

Increased blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides were common side effects reported in studies of Rapamune for preventing kidney transplant rejection. Studies of the drug for treating lymphangioleiomyomatosis reported increased cholesterol levels but not triglyceride levels.

High cholesterol or triglyceride levels can cause problems.

You likely won’t have symptoms with this side effect. Your doctor would need to do blood tests to find out if your cholesterol or triglyceride levels have increased.

What might help

Your doctor may order blood tests to check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels while you are taking Rapamune. If your levels are high, your doctor may prescribe medication to lower them. They may change your Rapamune dose.

Problems with wound healing

Rapamune may cause wounds to heal more slowly. The drug can make it hard for wounds to heal.

The following may be symptoms of problems with wound healing:

  • The wound has drainage from it.
  • The wound is opening.
  • Warm or swelling around the wound.
  • Slow or not properly healing wounds.

What might help

If you have a wound that is healing quickly, you should contact your doctor. They can prescribe antibiotics if necessary. Treatments that may help your wound heal can be recommended by them.

Low platelet levels

In studies of Rapamune, low platelet levels were a common side effect. Platelets are cells that help blood clot. Having low platelet levels increases the risk of bleeding or makes it more difficult than usual to stop bleeding.

There are symptoms of low platelet levels.

What might help

If you have any symptoms of low platelet levels, contact your doctor. They will order a blood test to check your levels. Your doctor may prescribe drugs or treatments to increase your platelets if they are too low.

Eating foods that are high in folate and other B vitamins, as well as vitamins D, C, and K, can help maintain healthy platelet levels. Examples of these foods include:

  • dark greens, such as spinach and Brussels sprout.
  • Black-eyed peas have black eyes.
  • Eggs.
  • Salmon, clams, or tuna are some of the fish.
  • cereals and drinks fortified with vitamins.

Talk to your doctor about low platelet levels during Rapamune treatment.

Allergic reaction

Like most drugs, Rapamune can cause an allergic reaction in some people. But it’s not clear whether this side effect occurred in studies.

Mild to serious symptoms can be present.

  • There is a skin rash.
  • It is itchy.
  • flushing (temporary warmth, redness, or deepening of skin color)
  • “It’s usually under your skin, but it can be anywhere.”
  • It can be hard to breathe if you have swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat.

What might help

If you have a mild rash, call your doctor. They may suggest a treatment to help you. Examples include:

  • an antihistamine you take by mouth, such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
  • You apply a product to your skin.

If your doctor confirms you have an allergy to Rapamune, they will decide if you should continue using it.

If you have a severe allergic reaction, you should call the emergency number. These symptoms could be life threatening and need immediate medical care.

If your doctor confirms you have had a serious allergic reaction to Rapamune, they may have you switch to a different treatment.

Keeping track of side effects

Take notes on any side effects you are having during your Rapamune treatment. You can share this information with your doctor. This is helpful when you are starting to use a combination of treatments.

Side effect notes can include things.

  • When you had the side effect, what dose of the drug was taking?
  • How soon did you experience the side effect?
  • What are your symptoms?
  • How did it affect your daily activities?
  • What other drugs were you taking?
  • Other information is important to you.

Sharing notes with your doctor will help them learn more about Rapamune. If needed, they can use this information to adjust your treatment plan.

Rapamune has warnings, which may affect whether the drug is a good treatment for your condition.

Boxed warnings

Rapamune has two boxed warnings, as discussed below. Boxed warnings are the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Increased risk of infections and certain cancers due to a weakened immune system

Rapamune can weaken your immune system, which increases your risk of developing infections and diseases. It also increases your risk of developing cancer, especially lymphoma (cancer of the lymph system) and skin cancer.

To learn more about this warning, see the “Side effects explained” section above.

Increased risk of serious problems after a lung or liver transplant

In studies, Rapamune increased the risk of serious problems and even death when used after lung or liver transplants. Due to this risk, Rapamune should not be used to prevent organ rejection after liver or lung transplants.

Talk to your doctor about safe and effective treatments that prevent organ rejection for transplants.

Other warnings

If you have certain medical conditions, Rapamune may not be right for you. These are drug-condition interactions. Rapamune is a good treatment option if you have other factors to consider.

Before starting Rapamune, you should talk to your doctor about your health history. The list has factors to consider.

Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Rapamune or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Rapamune. Ask them what other medications are better options for you.

High blood cholesterol levels. Rapamune can increase blood cholesterol levels. If you already have high cholesterol levels, Rapamune may worsen your condition. Your doctor will check your cholesterol levels regularly while you’re taking Rapamune. If your levels get higher, they may adjust your cholesterol medication if you take any and recommend ways to manage your cholesterol.

Reactivation of viral infections. A weakened immune system increases the risk of reactivating viral infections that are latent (not active and without symptoms). Reactivated infections can lead to serious problems, including decreased kidney function. In some cases, this side effect may be life threatening. Tell your doctor about any infections you may have had. They may monitor you closely during treatment for reactivation of viral infections.

Alcohol and Rapamune

There are no known interactions between Rapamune and alcohol. But alcohol can worsen some of Rapamune’s side effects, such as diarrhea, There is a throbbing head., and nausea.

Also, drinking large amounts of alcohol can weaken your immune system and cause liver problems. Both conditions can increase your risk of side effects from Rapamune.

If you have questions about consuming alcohol, talk to your doctor.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking Rapamune

Rapamune is not safe during pregnancy.

If you can become pregnant, you will have to take a test. Unless you have a test that shows you are not pregnant, they will not prescribe this medication.

If your pregnancy test is negative, your doctor will recommend that you use an effective method of birth control before starting Rapamune treatment. They’ll also recommend that you use this birth control during treatment and for at least 12 weeks after stopping Rapamune.

Rapamune may pass into breast milk. It could cause serious side effects in a child who is breastfed. If you are planning to breastfeeding, you should talk to your doctor. They will discuss ways to feed your child while taking Rapamune.

Some people taking Rapamune may have side effects. Talk to your doctor before starting treatment. They can answer questions about how to manage side effects. It may be possible to feel more comfortable taking this medication.

Here are a few questions to ask your doctor.

  • Can Rapamune cause hair loss?
  • Does my risk of having high cholesterol levels depend on the amount of medicine I take?
  • How do the side effects of Rapamune compare to those of Prograf?
  • Does my age affect my risk of side effects?

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.