Common brand names:
This medication is used to prevent organ rejection in people who have received a liver, kidney, or heart transplant. It is usually taken along with other medications to allow your new organ to function normally. Cyclosporine is also used to treat severe rheumatoid arthritis and a certain skin condition (severe psoriasis). Cyclosporine belongs to a class of drugs known as immunosuppressants. It works by slowing down your body's defense system (immune system) to prevent your body from rejecting a transplanted organ, further damaging your joints (in rheumatoid arthritis patients), or further damaging your skin (in psoriasis patients). For the treatment of psoriasis or arthritis, it is generally used to treat people who cannot take other medications or have not found relief from other treatments.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used to prevent rejection in other types of organ transplants (e.g., cornea, pancreas) or bone marrow transplant. It may also be used to treat other conditions that may be helped by affecting the immune system (e.g., Crohn's disease).
How to Use This Medication
Take this medication by mouth, usually once daily at the same time each day, or take as directed by your doctor. You may take this medication with or without food. However, it is important to choose one way and take every dose the same way. If you take this medication with food, eat the same amount and type of food each time you take the medication. Swallow this medication whole. Do not crush or chew the capsules. Dosage is based on your medical condition, cyclosporine blood level, kidney function, and response to therapy.
Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while being treated with this medication unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Grapefruit products can increase the amount of this medication in your bloodstream. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time each day.
This medication works best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals.
If you are taking this drug to treat arthritis, it may take 4-8 weeks to notice improvement, and up to 4 months for the full benefit.
If you are taking this drug to treat psoriasis, it may take 2-4 weeks to notice improvement, and up to 4 months for the full benefit. Your dose will slowly be increased during your therapy with this drug. Inform your doctor if your condition does not improve after 6 weeks of taking the highest recommended dose. If you are taking this medication to treat psoriasis, do not take it continuously for longer than one year unless directed to do so by your doctor.
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