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Brand & Generic Names


Basic Information

  • Habit forming? No
  • Prescription needed? Yes
  • Available as generic? No
  • Drug class: Immunosuppressant


  • Suppresses the immune response in patients who have transplants of the heart, lung, kidney, liver, pancreas. Cyclosporine treats rejection as well as helps prevent it.
  • Treatment for severe psoriasis when regular treatment is ineffective or not appropriate.

Dosage & Usage Information

How to take:
Oral solution--Take after meals with liquid to decrease stomach irritation. May mix with milk, chocolate milk or orange juice. Don't mix in styrofoam cups. Use special dropper for exact dosage.
Capsules--Take with water or other fluid. Don't break capsule open.

When to take:
At the same time each day, according to instructions on prescription label.

If you forget a dose:
Take as soon as you remember up to 2 hours late. If more than 2 hours, wait for next scheduled dose (don't double this dose).

What drug does:
Exact mechanism is unknown, but believed to inhibit interluken II to affect T-lymphocytes.

Time lapse before drug works:
3 to 3-1/2 hours.

Don't take with:
Any other medicine without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.


Irregular heartbeat, seizures, coma.


  • Dial 911 (emergency) or O (operator) for an ambulance or medical help. Then give first aid immediately.
  • See EMERGENCY Information.

Possible Adverse Reactions or Side Effects


    Seizures, wheezing Discontinue. Seek with shortness of emergency treatment. breath, convulsions.


  • Gum inflammation, blood in urine, jaundice, tremors.
  • Increased hair growth.


  • Fever, chills, sore throat, shortness of breath.
  • Frequent urination, headache, leg cramps.


  • Confusion, irregular heartbeat, numbness of hands and feet, nervousness, face flushing, severe abdominal pain, weakness.
  • Acne, headache.

Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:

  • You have chicken pox.
  • You have shingles (herpes zoster).

Before you start, consult your doctor:

  • If you have liver problems.
  • If you have an infection.
  • If you have kidney disease.

Over age 60:
No special problems expected.

Safety not established. Consult your doctor.

Drug passes into milk. Avoid drug or discontinue nursing until you finish medicine. Consult doctor for advice on maintaining milk supply.

Infants & children:
No problems expected.

Prolonged use:

  • Can cause reduced function of kidney.
  • Talk to your doctor about the need for follow-up medical examinations or laboratory studies to check blood pressure, kidney function, liver function.

Skin & sunlight:
No problems expected.

Driving, piloting or hazardous work:
Don't drive or pilot aircraft until you learn how medicine affects you. Don't work around dangerous machinery. Don't climb ladders or work in high places. Danger increases if you drink alcohol or take medicine affecting alertness and reflexes.

Don't discontinue without consulting doctor. You probably will require this medicine for the remainder of your life.


  • Request regular laboratory studies to measure levels of potassium, cyclosporine in blood, and to evaluate liver and kidney function.
  • Check blood pressure. Cyclosporine sometimes causes hypertension.
  • Don't store solution in the refrigerator.
  • Avoid any immunizations except those specifically recommended by your doctor.
  • Maintain good dental hygiene. Cyclosporine can cause gum problems.
  • Kidney toxicity occurs commonly after 12 months of taking cyclosporine.
  • Don't mix in styrofoam cups.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------ -----------------------
Androgens Increased effect of cyclosporine.
Anticonvulsants* Decreased effect of cyclosporine.
Cimetidine Increased effect of cyclosporine.
Danazol Increased effect of cyclosporine.
Diltiazem Increased effect of cyclosporine.
Diuretics, Increased effect of cyclosporine.
Erythromycin Increased effect of cyclosporine.
Estrogens Increased effect of cyclosporine.
Fluconazole Increased effect of cyclosporine.
Cyclosporine dosage must be
Immuno- May increase risk of
suppressants* infection.
Itraconazole Increased cyclosporine toxicity.
Ketoconazole Increased risk of toxicity to
Lovastatin Increased heart and kidney damage.
Medicines that Increased risk of
may be toxic to toxicity to kidneys.
Nimodipine Increased cyclosporine toxicity.
Rifampin Decreased effect of cyclosporine.
Tiopronin Increased risk of toxicity to
Vancomycin Increased chance of hearing loss or
kidney damage.
Virus vaccines Increased adverse reactions to

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: May increase possibility of toxic
effects. Avoid.
Beverages: None expected.
Cocaine: May increase possibility of toxic
effects. Avoid.
Foods: None expected.
Marijuana: May increase possibility of toxic
effects. Avoid.
Tobacco: May increase possibility of toxic
effects. Avoid.

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