Compare Prograf vs. Rapamune

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Prograf (tacrolimus)

Prescription only

Rapamune (sirolimus)

Prescription only
Prevents rejection of a transplanted organ.

Prograf (tacrolimus) is a good medicine that prevents rejection of an organ transplant, but you will need to be on it lifelong.

Prevents rejection of a transplanted organ.

Rapamune (sirolimus) is a reliable medicine that prevents rejection of an organ transplant but requires consistent monitoring.

Upsides
  • Prevents your body from rejecting a transplanted organ.
  • Available as an extended-release pill, so it can be taken just once daily.
  • Less cosmetic side-effects than other anti-rejection medicine like cyclosporine.
  • Rapamune (sirolimus) is good at preventing organ rejection.
  • Causes less harm to the kidneys with long-term use than similar medicines.
  • Fewer effects on blood sugar and blood pressure compared to other immunosuppressants.
  • Conveniently taken once daily.
Downsides
  • Regular blood tests are required for monitoring while on Prograf (tacrolimus).
  • Can cause a lot of side-effects, such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure, mental status changes, and kidney damage, especially with lifelong use.
  • Increases your risk of infection and certain cancers.
  • You’ll need regular blood tests while taking Rapamune (sirolimus), especially when you first start the medicine.
  • Can cause high lipids (fats like cholesterol and triglycerides), especially with lifelong use. You might need to take other medicines to control your lipids while on Rapamune (sirolimus).
  • Raises your risk of infection and certain cancers.
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Used for
  • Prevention of heart transplant rejection
  • Prevention of liver transplant rejection
  • Prevention of kidney transplant rejection
  • Lung transplant rejection
  • Bowel transplant rejection
  • Graft-versus-host disease
  • Prevention of kidney transplant rejection
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
13possible side effects
  • High blood pressure
    62%
  • Kidney Function Abnormal
    56%
  • Anemia
    50%
  • Low white blood cells
    48%
  • Viral infection
    32%
  • Diabetes Mellitus
    26%
  • Infection
    24%
  • High blood sugar
    23%
  • High cholesterol
    18%
  • Bronchitis
    17%
  • Urinary Tract Infection
    16%
  • Fluid around the heart
    15%
  • Tremor
    15%
See more detailed side effects
17possible side effects
  • Swelling in arms and legs
    54%
  • High triglycerides
    45%
  • High blood pressure
    45%
  • High cholesterol
    43%
  • Higher blood creatinine (marker of poorer kidney function)
    39%
  • Constipation
    36%
  • Headache
    34%
  • Stomach pain
    28%
  • Urinary tract infection
    26%
  • Diarrhea
    25%
  • Nausea
    25%
  • Joint pain
    25%
  • Fever
    23%
  • Low red blood cells
    23%
  • Acne
    22%
  • Low white blood cells
    14%
  • Rash
    10%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Serious infections
    • Taking other immunosuppressant drugs
    • Age 60 or older
    • Weak immune system
  • Cancer
    • Taking Prograf (tacrolimus) for a long time
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart problems
    • Taking drugs that interact with Prograf (tacrolimus)
    • High Prograf (tacrolimus) blood levels
  • Kidney damage
    • Poor kidney function
    • Taking other drugs that can damage the kidneys
    • Taking drugs that interact with Prograf (tacrolimus)
  • Diabetes
    • African-American descent
    • Hispanic descent
  • Increased risk of death in female liver transplant patients taking extended-release Prograf (tacrolimus)
    • Females using Astagraf XL
    • Liver transplantation
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Health problems in people with liver and lung transplants
  • Cancer
    • Taking Rapamune (sirolimus) for a long time
    • Long exposure to sunlight
    • UV light
  • Serious infections
    • Taking other immunosuppressants
    • Age 60 or older
    • Weak immune system
  • High blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides)
    • History of high cholesterol
    • History of high triglycerides
  • Drug interactions
    • Taking multiple medicines
See more detailed risks and warnings