Side effects of cyclosporine

Updated July 19, 2017

The uses, administration and side effects of Cyclosporine.

What is Cyclosporine?

Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant and an anti-inflammatory drug. It is primarily effective in helping organ replacement patients by suppressing the immune system so the body does not attempt to fight off or reject the new organs. This drug also has anti-inflammatory qualities and has been used to treat some forms of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

How Cyclosporine is administered

This drug is administered both orally and intravenously. The oral administration is available in capsule and soft gel capsule forms with dosages being in either 25, 50, or 100 milligram increments. The IV solution is general 50 milligrams.

Side Effects

There are some adverse side effects with this medication. Side effects of the central nervous system include seizures, tremors, headaches and paresthesias, which is itching, burning and tingling skin.
Another side effect of this drug is hypertension or high blood pressure, which should be closely monitored with those already taking blood pressure medications.
It can also cause stomach ailments such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Cyclosporine is excreted through bile and also through urine. To avoid these stomach ailments, patients should always take this drug with food. However, it will not absorb into the body properly if taken after consuming a high-fat diet and should not be taken with grapefruit juice because the combination will create adverse effects and additional toxicity in the body.

Cautions with Cyclosporine

This drug should be used with caution in people who have kidney problems because a serious side effect can be renal dysfunction, which can prevent the kidneys from eliminating waste, allowing toxins to build in the body. As with most prescription drugs, this drug should be used only with extreme caution under a doctor's care. Pregnant women should not take Cyclosporine because it will cross the placenta walls and also enter the breast milk.
For additional information on this drug, please always consult a pharmacist for information about possible interactions with additional medications.

Interactions with other medications

Cyclosporine will suppress the immune system, so it is widely avoided and discouraged that this drug be taken after any type of live vaccination has been injected into the system. Since the immune system could be down, the virus or infection might overrun the body's weakened immune system and create an additional illness. Extreme caution should be used when taking Cyclosporine with medication for high blood pressure and also medications that affect the kidneys.

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About the Author

Jessica Taylor began freelancing professionally in 2009. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Concord University with an emphasis in literature and creative writing. No category is off limits but Taylor specializes in articles involving the hearth and home.