At a glance
Also known as
Mycophenolic acid; MPA; mycophenolate mofetil (MMF); mycophenolate sodium [or by drug brand names, CellCept, Myfortic]
Why get tested?
To determine the concentration of mycophenylate in the blood in order to monitor levels and prevent toxicity
When to get tested?
As soon as mycophenylate therapy begins and whenever the dose is changed; may be ordered frequently at first, then at regular intervals; whenever excess or deficient levels of mycophenylate are suspected
A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm
Test preparation needed?
What is being tested?
This test measures the amount of mycophenylate or mycophenolic acid (MPA) in the blood. Mycophenolic acid is the active of mycophenolate, a drug that is primarily given to patients who have had a heart, kidney or liver . There are two formulations of the drug available, mycophenolate mofetil and mycophenolate sodium.
Mycophenylate belongs to a group of drugs which helps to prevent organ rejection. Normally, a person’s immune system would recognise a transplanted organ as foreign and begin to attack it. Mycophenylate limits this response by preventing the activation of the immune system cells known as T- and B-lymphocytes.
Like other immunosuppressant agents, mycophenylate may cause side effects and adverse reactions and is associated with an increased risk of infection and the development of lymphoma and other cancerous conditions, especially skin cancers.
Mycophenolate is given to organ transplant patients in conjunction with other immunosuppressant drugs, such as cyclosporin and tacrolimus.
The mmycophenylate blood test is usually measured as a “trough” level, that is, the blood sample is taken just before the next dose of the medicine is due, when the drug is at its lowest concentration in the blood.
How is the sample collected for testing?
A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm.
Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?
No test preparation is needed.