What is cyclosporine?
Cyclosporine lowers your body's immune system. The immune system helps your body fight infections. The immune system can also fight or "reject" a transplanted organ such as a liver or kidney. This is because the immune system treats the new organ as an invader.
Cyclosporine is used to prevent organ rejection after a kidney, liver, or heart transplant.
Cyclosporine is also used to treat severe psoriasis or severe rheumatoid arthritis.
Cyclosporine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about cyclosporine?
You may not be able to use this medication if you have kidney disease, untreated or uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure), or any type of cancer.
If you are being treated for psoriasis, you should not receive light therapy (PUVA or UVB) or radiation treatments while you are receiving cyclosporine. Make sure all doctors involved in your care know you are taking cyclosporine.
You may take cyclosporine with or without food, but take it the same way each time. Cyclosporine should be given in two separate doses each day. Try to take the medication at the same dosing times each day.
If there are any changes in the brand or form of cyclosporine you use, your dosage needs may change. Always check your refills to make sure you have received the correct brand and type of medicine prescribed by your doctor.
Call your doctor at once if you have any signs of kidney failure, such as urinating less than usual or not at all, drowsiness, confusion, mood changes, increased thirst, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, swelling, weight gain, or feeling short of breath.
Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with cyclosporine. The live vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease.
There are many other medicines that can cause serious medical problems if you take them together with cyclosporine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.
What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking cyclosporine?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to cyclosporine. You may not be able to use cyclosporine if you have:
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take cyclosporine:
psoriasis that has been treated with PUVA, UVB, radiation, methotrexate (Trexall), or coal tar; or
if you are also taking an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin (Indocin), and others.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether cyclosporine is harmful to an unborn baby. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Cyclosporine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.