What is this medicine?
CYCLOSPORINE (SYE kloe spor een) is used to decrease the immune system's response to a transplanted organ. The medicine is also used for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Do not take with grapefruit juice. Swallow the capsules whole. Do not chew or break the capsule. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Take the capsules at the same time each day and at the same time in relation to meals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 1 year for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
changes in vision
high blood pressure
increased urge to urinate or frequent urination
numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
severe stomach pain
yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
female hormones, including contraceptive or birth control pills
medicines for fungal infections like amphotericin B, fluconazole, itraconazole, terbinafine, and ketoconazole
medicines for blood pressure like diltiazem, nicardipine, verapamil, enalapril, ramipril, and losartan
medicines for cholesterol like lovastatin, simvastatin, atorvastatin, and fenofibrate
medicines for HIV infection like indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, and saquinavir
medicines that suppress the immune system
NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses. Call your doctor or health care professional if you miss more than one dose or if you miss doses on a regular basis.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store Neoral between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F).
Store Gengraf between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F).
Keep the medicine in the original packaging. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
high blood pressure
immune system problems
previous coal tar, PUVA, ultraviolet, or radiation therapy
an unusual or allergic reaction to cyclosporine, alcohol, corn oil (Neoral only), castor oil, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You will have regular blood checks. Do not change the brand of medicine unless directed by your doctor or health care professional.
If you get a cold or other infection while receiving this medicine, call your doctor or health care professional. Do not treat yourself. The medicine may decrease your body's ability to fight infections.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.
The medicine can cause unusual growth of gum tissue and can make your gums bleed. Practice good oral hygiene, and be careful when brushing and flossing your teeth. See your dentist regularly.