Tacrolimus is a generic prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved certain forms of this drug to prevent rejection after receiving certain organ transplants. Tacrolimus can be taken by adults and certain children.
One form of tacrolimus, the topical ointment, is not used to prevent organ rejection. Instead, it’s used to treat certain types of eczema.
Here are some details about tacrolimus:
- Drug class: immunosuppressant
- Drug forms:
- oral capsule
- liquid solution for intravenous (IV) injection
- topical ointment
- Brand-name versions:
- Astagraf XL
- Envarsus XR
Read on to learn about tacrolimus and cost, as well as how to save money on prescriptions.
As with all medications, the cost of tacrolimus can vary. Factors that may affect the price you’ll pay include your treatment plan, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy you use.
If your doctor prescribes the injectable form of tacrolimus, the price of the drug will also depend on how much it costs to visit your healthcare professional to receive your doses.
To find out what the cost of tacrolimus will be for you, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about cost and tacrolimus.
How much does tacrolimus topical ointment cost? What about the drug’s other forms?
You may be wondering where to buy tacrolimus ointment and how much it costs. Costs of all forms of tacrolimus, including the topical ointment, oral capsule, and injectable solution, can vary. Factors that can affect the price you pay include your treatment plan, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy you use.
Your pharmacist can answer questions you may have about how much different forms of tacrolimus cost. They may be able to determine the prices you’ll pay for your tacrolimus prescription. You can also talk with your doctor or insurance company.
Note: Tacrolimus ointment is the only topical form of the drug available that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved.
Does the cost of tacrolimus vary depending on which strength I take?
Possibly. Your treatment plan and the strength of tacrolimus you take could affect how much you pay for tacrolimus.
For example, if your doctor prescribes a dose of 2 milligrams (mg) or 3 mg, you may have to take multiple capsules or two strengths of tacrolimus capsules to get your prescribed dose. This is because tacrolimus capsules are only available in strengths of 0.5 mg, 1 mg, and 5 mg.
Your pharmacist can provide more information on the cost you’ll pay for tacrolimus, including whether your costs will vary depending on the strength your doctor prescribes.
What is tacrolimus’ cost without insurance?
The cost of tacrolimus with or without insurance can vary. In general, costs are usually higher without insurance.
Your pharmacist can answer questions you may have about how much tacrolimus costs. They may be able to determine the costs you’ll pay for your tacrolimus prescription, including the price you’ll pay without insurance.
Is tacrolimus covered by Medicare?
Whether or not Medicare covers tacrolimus depends on your Medicare coverage and prescription drug plan.
Your pharmacist can help determine whether your Medicare plan covers your tacrolimus prescription. They may be able to give an estimate on the price you’ll pay. You can also speak with your doctor or your insurance company about your coverage.
Tacrolimus is a generic drug, which means it’s an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. A generic drug is considered to be as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.
Tacrolimus is available as several brand-name drugs:
- Astagraf XL
- Envarsus XR
If your doctor has prescribed tacrolimus and you’re interested in using a brand-name form of the drug instead, talk with your doctor. They may have a preference for one version or the other. You’ll also need to check with your insurance provider, as it may only cover one or the other.
To find out how the cost of these brand-name versions compare with the cost of tacrolimus, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Keep reading to learn about ways to reduce long-term drug costs if your doctor has prescribed tacrolimus.
Getting a 3-month supply
You may be able to get a 90-day supply of tacrolimus. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor or insurance provider.
Using a mail-order pharmacy
Tacrolimus may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this type of service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to receive your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications. You may also be able to get a 90-day supply of the drug via mail order.
If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest online pharmacy options that could work for you.
If you need financial support to pay for tacrolimus, consider looking at websites that offer cost resources and information. Two such organizations are:
These sites can provide details about drug assistance programs, ways to make the most of your insurance coverage, and links to savings cards and other services.
Now that you’ve learned about cost and tacrolimus, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist, who can provide personalized guidance on cost issues related to you and tacrolimus. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you’ll pay for tacrolimus.
Here are some other resources you may find helpful:
- Medicare drug coverage. To learn about Medicare coverage for drugs, see these articles about Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, drug coupons and Medicare, and the Medicare drug list.
- Save money. Explore this article for tips about how to save money on prescriptions.
- Information about organ transplants. For more information about organ transplants, see this list of related articles.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today 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.