To establish guidelines for avoiding the side effects of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) in renal transplant recipients with tacrolimus (TAC)-based immunosuppression, the relationship between the daily dose of MMF and the occurrence of side effects was analyzed in this study. The frequency of side effects was investigated retrospectively in 28 renal transplant recipients treated with immunosuppression (men 14 : women 14, age: 33.0+/-12.4 years, weight: 50.9+/-10.7 kg). Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and diarrhea were the most frequent side effects in the early transplant phase (from transplantation to 3-month biopsy) in the recipients. In 18 recipients, excluding the recipients with risk factors for CMV infection (ABO-incompatible transplantation, donor (+)/recipient (-) CMV serostatus, etc.), no significant correlation was shown between the daily dose of MMF and the occurrence of CMV infection in the two-sample t-test. On the other hand, the daily dose in the diarrhea group (33.2+/-4.3 mg/kg/day, n = 5) was significantly higher than that in the no-diarrhea group at 30 days (28.4+/-3.7 mg/kg/day, n = 23, p < 0.05) and 90 days (25.7+/-4.4 mg/kg/day, n = 21, p < 0.005) after transplantation, respectively. The receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve also revealed that the risk of diarrhea increased with a daily MMF dose higher than 30 mg/kg/day. In conclusion, to decrease the risk of diarrhea in the early transplant phase in renal transplant recipients with TAC-based immunosuppression, the daily dose of MMF should not be more than 30 mg/kg/day.