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Cyclosporine: Side Effects, Uses, Interaction and Precautions

Cyclosporine Medication

Brand Name(s)— Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune

Generic Name— Cyclosporine

Drug Class— Immunosuppressants; DMARDs, Immunomodulators; Calcineurin Inhibitors

What Is Cyclosporine?

Cyclosporine is a medication used to prevent organ rejection in people who have received a kidney, liver, or heart transplant. It is usually taken along with other medications to allow your new organ to function normally. Cyclosporine is also called ciclosporin or cyclosporin. It belongs to a group of drugs known as immunosuppressants. Cyclosporine medication works by slowing down body’s immune system to prevent human body from rejecting a transplanted organ.

Cyclosporine is also used to treat psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and nephrotic syndrome.

Cyclosporine was isolated in 1971 from the fungus Tolypocladium inflatum and came into medical use in 1983.

Important Information:

Cyclosporine may increase the risk of developing serious infections, transplant failure or cancer. Ask your doctor before you start this medication.

Avoid to use Cyclosporine if you have high blood pressure or hypertension, any type of cancer, or psoriasis that has been treated with UVB, PUVA, radiation, methotrexate, or coal tar.


Cyclosporine can harm your kidneys and the effect may increase when you also take certain other medications; including—cholesterol-lowering drugs, chemotherapy, antivirals, injected antibiotics, medicines to treat autoimmune disorders, medicine for bowel disorders, medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection, stomach acid reducers, and some pain or arthritis medicines (including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve).

Tell your doctor or health care provider about all your current medications and any you start or stop using, especially —

  • Dabigatran
  • Amphotericin B deoxycholate
  • St. John’s wort
  • Atorvastatin
  • Bosentan
  • Lomitapide
  • Mifepristone
  • Neomycin PO
  • Seizure medication
  • Birth control pills
  • Pitavastatin
  • Cidofovir
  • Elbasvir or grazoprevir
  • Flibanserin
  • Sitaxentan
  • Rifabutin
  • Saquinavir
  • Simvastatin
  • antibiotic or antifungal medicine
  • Steroid medication (oral, nasal, inhaled, or injectable)
  • antiviral medicine to treat hepatitis C or HIV/AIDS
  • cholesterol—lowering medication
  • Heart or blood pressure medication

What Are The Side Effects Of Cyclosporine?

Common side effects of Cyclosporine include —

  • Infection
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Shaking (tremor)
  • Kidney damage
  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach upset
  • Dizziness
  • Triglycerides increased
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Leg cramps
  • Female reproductive disorder
  • Swollen, red or painful gums
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Flushing
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Male-pattern hair growth in women

Less common side effects of cyclosporine include —

Other side effects of cyclosporine include —

  • Glomerular capillary thrombosis
  • Migraine
  • Low blood sodium (hyponatremia)
  • Low white blood cell count (leukopenia)
  • Low platelet count (thrombocytopenia)
  • Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)

Serious side effects of cyclosporine include —

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Sweating
  • Sores in your mouth
  • Problems speaking or walking
  • Decreased vision

What Should I Avoid While Taking Cyclosporine?

Avoid to meet with the people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor or health care provider if you develop signs of infection.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with this medicine and can cause many side effects.

It is advisable not to receive a live vaccination while taking Cyclosporine medication. Live vaccines include rubella (MMR), polio, rotavirus, measles, mumps, typhoid, yellow fever, zoster (shingles), varicella (chickenpox) and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

What Happens If I Miss A Dose Of Cyclosporine?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What Happens If I Overdose?

Seek emergency medical help or call the Poison Help line at 1—800—222—1222.


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