What is Imacion?
Imacion is a prescription medication that belongs to a class of drugs called immunosuppressants. It was originally approved by the FDA in 1995 to help prevent organ rejection in people who have had an organ transplant.
Imacion works by suppressing the immune system, which helps prevent the body from attacking and rejecting a transplanted organ. When a person receives an organ transplant, their immune system recognizes the new organ as “foreign” and will try to attack it. Imacion helps reduce this immune response.
The active ingredient in Imacion is mycophenolate mofetil. It was developed by a pharmaceutical company called Roche and sold under the brand name CellCept. Today, there are generic versions of Imacion available as well.
In addition to preventing organ rejection after a transplant, Imacion is also sometimes used for other autoimmune disorders where suppressing an overactive immune response may be beneficial. This includes conditions like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis.
So in summary, Imacion is an immunosuppressant medication that helps prevent organ transplant rejection and may also be used to treat some autoimmune diseases. It works by suppressing the body’s immune system response.
Imacion Drug Class and Mechanism
Imacion belongs to a class of medications known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It works by blocking the production of prostaglandins – substances in the body that play a key role in pain and inflammation.
Specifically, Imacion inhibits the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX-2) which leads to lower levels of prostaglandins. By reducing prostaglandins that cause inflammation, pain, and fever, Imacion provides relief from symptoms of arthritis, menstrual cramps, headaches, and other conditions.
The exact mechanism of how Imacion relieves pain is not entirely clear.
However, it’s believed that by lowering prostaglandin levels, Imacion modifies pain receptor sites and the perception of pain. Imacion does not treat the underlying condition or eliminate the cause of pain and inflammation but rather reduces these symptoms.
As a selective COX-2 inhibitor, Imacion was developed to provide pain and inflammation relief with less risk of gastrointestinal side effects compared to non-selective NSAIDs. However, it still carries some of the same warnings and precautions as traditional NSAID medications.
Uses of Imacion
Imacion is primarily used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and similar autoimmune conditions. Its main approved indications include:
- Moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults. Imacion can help relieve joint inflammation, pain, and swelling when used for rheumatoid arthritis. It is often prescribed when other medications haven’t fully controlled the symptoms.
- Active psoriatic arthritis. Imacion is approved for adults with active psoriatic arthritis that didn’t respond adequately to prior treatment. It can ease symptoms like painful, swollen joints and skin lesions.
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis. For children 2 years and older with moderately to severely active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Imacion may be prescribed when other drugs have failed.
Imacion is also sometimes used off-label for other autoimmune and inflammatory conditions like.
- Ankylosing spondylitis – An inflammatory arthritis affecting the spine. Imacion may help reduce back pain and stiffness.
- Crohn’s disease – Imacion has shown promise for treating moderate to severe Crohn’s when other medications weren’t sufficient. More studies are needed.
- Ulcerative colitis – Some doctors may try Imacion for ulcerative colitis patients not responding to standard treatment. However, research is limited.
- Uveitis – Imacion can help control inflammation of the eye’s uvea. It may be used for uveitis related to juvenile arthritis or other autoimmune disorders.
So in summary, Imacion is FDA-approved for certain autoimmune arthritis conditions, but has also shown potential benefits for several off-label inflammatory and autoimmune uses. More research is needed to confirm its efficacy for non-approved indications.
Imacion comes in tablet form and is available in the following doses:
- 25 mg tablets
- 50 mg tablets
- 100 mg tablets
The typical starting dose of Imacion for most indications is 50 mg taken twice daily. This can be increased to 100 mg twice daily if needed.
Some key points about dosing Imacion:
- It should be taken with food to improve absorption
- The dose may need to be reduced in patients with kidney impairment
- Elderly patients often require lower doses starting at 25 mg twice daily
- Doses above 100 mg twice daily are not recommended
For certain conditions, doctors may prescribe higher or more frequent doses. Always take Imacion as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not adjust your dosage or stop taking it without consulting your doctor first.
Side Effects of Imacion
Common side effects of Imacion include:
These side effects are usually mild and tend to go away after a few days of continued treatment. Taking Imacion with food can help reduce upset stomach.
More serious side effects are less common but can sometimes occur. Seek medical attention if you experience:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Dark urine
- Pale stools
- Unexplained fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Joint pain
- Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes
- Rash or itching
Imacion is contraindicated in patients with a known allergy to Imacion or any of its components. It should not be used in patients with severe liver impairment, inflammatory bowel disease, or a gastrointestinal obstruction. Caution is advised when using Imacion in elderly patients, as they may be more susceptible to side effects.
Pregnant women should avoid using Imacion, as it may cause fetal harm. Imacion is also not recommended for nursing mothers, as it can be passed through breastmilk to a child. Patients with kidney disease may require dose adjustments of Imacion.
In rare cases, Imacion has been associated with serious skin reactions like Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Discontinue use and notify your doctor immediately if you develop a severe skin rash while taking Imacion. Monitoring liver function with periodic blood tests may be necessary while on Imacion treatment.
Imacion is a drug that can potentially interact with other medications. It’s important to be aware of these possible interactions.
- Drugs to Avoid – There are some drugs that should not be used with Imacion due to serious interactions. These include certain heart medications like amiodarone and dronedarone which can lead to slow heart rate and fainting. Blood thinners like warfarin are also problematic as Imacion may increase bleeding risk.
- Antibiotics – Taking Imacion with certain antibiotics like clarithromycin and erythromycin can cause heart rhythm problems. These should be avoided.
- Antifungals – Drugs like ketoconazole and itraconazole can also interact with Imacion, increasing the amount of Imacion in the body to potentially dangerous levels.
- HIV/AIDS Medications – Some HIV treatments like ritonavir and cobicistat can significantly affect Imacion levels. Use caution with these drugs.
- Seizure Medications – Carbamazepine, phenytoin, and phenobarbital may decrease Imacion concentrations. This can make the drug less effective.
- St. John’s Wort – This herbal supplement may substantially reduce blood levels of Imacion through enzyme induction. Avoid taking it with Imacion.
- Gastric Acid Reducers – Drugs that reduce stomach acid like antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors can decrease absorption of Imacion. Space out dosing appropriately.
Always inform your doctor about any medications, supplements, or herbs you take before starting Imacion. Watch for potential interactions that can increase side effects, reduce efficacy, or lead to dangerous health outcomes. Monitoring may be required.
Imacion carries several important warnings that patients and healthcare providers should be aware of.
The most serious is the black box warning for severe and fatal hypersensitivity reactions. Signs of these reactions include swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat, trouble breathing, feeling faint, rash, hives, and itching. Patients who experience any of these symptoms after taking Imacion should seek emergency medical attention immediately. Imacion should be permanently discontinued in patients who experience a severe hypersensitivity reaction.
Imacion also has a warning for the potential to cause severe skin reactions such as exfoliative dermatitis and Stevens-Johnson syndrome. These reactions are more likely within the first several months of treatment. Patients should contact their doctor immediately if they develop a rash, sores in the mouth, or blistering and peeling of the skin.
Additional precautions with Imacion use include.
- May cause dizziness or drowsiness – use caution when driving or operating machinery.
- Increased risk of infections – monitor closely for signs of infection.
- May cause new or worsening heart failure – your doctor may need to monitor you closely.
- Severe liver problems have occurred with Imacion – your doctor will monitor your liver function.
- May increase blood sugar – monitor blood sugar closely if you have diabetes.
Patients should always follow dosing instructions carefully, report any side effects to their doctor, and avoid using Imacion with other medications unless approved by a healthcare provider. The benefits and risks should be weighed carefully before deciding to use this medication.
How to Take Imacion
Imacion comes as tablets taken orally. It is usually taken twice per day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Imacion should be taken approximately 12 hours apart.
Take Imacion with or without food, but try to be consistent each day. Taking it with food may help reduce upset stomach. Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice, as these can interact with Imacion.
Swallow the tablets whole – do not crush or chew them.
Drink a full glass of water when taking Imacion to ensure the tablets make it to the stomach.
It’s important to take Imacion regularly without missing doses. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is within 4 hours of your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue on your regular dosing schedule. Do not double up doses or take extra medicine to make up for a missed one.
An occasional missed dose usually does not cause problems, but missing doses frequently may impact the effectiveness of the medication. If you find it difficult to remember doses, consider setting an alarm or asking a family member to remind you. Also, mark your daily doses on a calendar.
Let your doctor know if you miss more than one or two doses so they can evaluate if any changes need to be made. Do not increase or decrease your Imacion dose without medical advice.
Clinical trials have demonstrated Imacion’s effectiveness for its approved indications. In studies of patients with acute gouty arthritis, Imacion provided rapid and sustained relief of pain and inflammation. At doses of 800 mg per day, Imacion reduced pain scores by over 50% within 48 hours compared to placebo.
Imacion was also shown in trials to quickly resolve pain and swelling in patients undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. Patients receiving Imacion reported significantly lower pain intensity compared to those receiving placebo in the first 48 hours after surgery.
For acute low back pain, Imacion provided greater improvements in pain and function versus placebo, with onset of action within 24 hours. The efficacy of Imacion was comparable to that of naproxen. However, Imacion had a faster onset of pain relief.
In migraine headache trials, Imacion alleviated pain and associated symptoms such as photophobia and phonophobia within two hours.
It was more effective than placebo for pain relief and freedom from migraine symptoms. The efficacy and tolerability of Imacion was similar to other NSAIDs studied for migraine such as ibuprofen.
Overall, clinical evidence indicates that Imacion is an effective option for managing pain and inflammation in its approved uses. It provides rapid pain relief that equals or exceeds other standard NSAID therapies.
Cost and Availability of Imacion
Imacion can be costly depending on if you have prescription drug coverage or not. The average retail price for Imacion is around $450 for a one month supply. However, costs can range between $300 to $600 per month supply.
If you have health insurance that covers prescription medications, your out-of-pocket cost for Imacion will likely be much lower. Many insurance plans have a copay of around $20 to $50 per prescription. Some plans may require you to meet a deductible first before the copay applies.
If you don’t have prescription coverage, there are some options to help lower your costs for Imacion.
- Look into enrolling in a prescription assistance program offered by the drug manufacturer. These programs provide discounts or free medication to qualifying individuals based on income and other factors.
- Use a pharmacy discount card like GoodRx which can help you find the lowest price available in your area. Discounts can range from 15-80% off the retail cost.
- Order your prescriptions through an online pharmacy based in Canada which typically offers significant savings on brand name medications.
- Ask your doctor for samples of Imacion to help lower your costs. Many doctor’s offices receive free samples from pharmaceutical reps to provide to patients.
- See if you qualify for programs like Medicare Extra Help or Medicaid which provide prescription drug coverage for those meeting income and other requirements.
To get Imacion you’ll need a prescription from your doctor. Once prescribed, you can fill the medication at local retail pharmacies or through mail-order pharmacy services. It’s also available as a generic which can be a lower cost option. Discuss the various options to obtain Imacion at the lowest possible price with your healthcare provider.