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Cyclosporine (By mouth)

Cyclosporine (sye-kloe-SPOR-een)

Helps prevent organ rejection after transplant surgery. Also treats rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

Brand Name(s):

Gengraf, Neoral, SandIMMUNE

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to cyclosporine or castor oil.

How to Use This Medicine:

Capsule, Liquid Filled Capsule, Liquid

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • Take this medicine the same way every day. This means take it at the same time and always take it with food or always without food.
  • Oral liquid instructions: Measure the oral liquid with the included dosing syringe. Wipe the syringe with a clean towel after use and replace the cover. Do not rinse the syringe or allow any water to get into the medicine container.
    • Neoral® oral liquid may be added to a glass of room temperature apple juice or orange juice. Stir well, and drink the mixture right away. Add more juice to the glass and drink that too, so you get all of the medicine. Do not use a plastic cup.
    • Sandimmune® oral liquid may be added to a glass of room temperature milk, chocolate milk, or orange juice. Stir well, and drink the mixture right away. Add more milk or juice to the glass and drink that too, so you get all of the medicine.
  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in the original container at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not store it in the refrigerator or freezer. Throw away any unused oral liquid 60 days after the bottle is opened for the first time.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • There are many drugs that can interact with cyclosporine. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.
  • You should not use cyclosporin if you are receiving other treatment for psoriasis, including PUVA or UVB therapy, coal tar, or radiation treatment.
  • Ask your doctor before you use any medicine, supplement, or salt substitute that contains potassium.
  • If you are using sirolimus, take it 4 hours after you use cyclosporine.
  • This medicine may interfere with vaccines. Ask your doctor before you get a flu shot or any other vaccines.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, cancer, anemia, a bleeding disorder, high blood pressure, eye or vision problems, or a history of seizures.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Kidney problems
    • Liver problems
    • Increased risk of infections, including rare and life-threatening infections
    • Increased risk of cancer, including skin cancer or cancer of the lymph nodes (lymphoma)
    • High blood pressure
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Wash your hands often.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.
  • Do not stop using this medicine without talking to your doctor.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate, bloody urine
  • Confusion, weakness, uneven heartbeat, trouble breathing, or numbness in your hands, feet, or lips
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Fast heartbeat, dizziness, headache, vision changes
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, or body aches
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your face, hands, feet, or lower legs
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea, stomach pain
  • Increased hair growth, especially on your face
  • Swelling of your gums

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 11/18/2015

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