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Ciclosporin (Cyclosporine)

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Calcineurin inhibitor Neoral®, Sandimmune® Adult

Ciclosporin (Cyclosporine) - What is it for

The medication poses a 'dampen down' of your immune system and in turns, tunes down its aggressiveness of its attack against your kidney.

Ciclosporin (Cyclosporine) - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Ciclosporin (Cyclosporine) cause?

More than 10% of people will experience:

  • Kidney problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Headache including migraine
  • Tremor
  • Increased levels of lipids (e.g. cholesterol) in the blood

As this medications reduces your body's own defense mechanisms to stop you attacking against your kidney, your body will not be as good as normal at fighting infections. You may therefore catch more infections than usual, such as infections of the brain, skin, mouth, stomach and intestines, lungs and urinary tract.

Talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse if you get any side effects. This includes any side effects not listed in this leaflet. However, do not stop taking your medicine unless you have discussed this with our doctor first.

Before taking Ciclosporin (Cyclosporine), what precautions must I follow?

Come back to the hospital for regular blood test as instructed by your doctor.

Because adverse effects can happen at any time during the course of treatment and some side effects may not cause symptoms, it is important that you have your regular blood test.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Ciclosporin (Cyclosporine)?

Ciclosporin (Cyclosporine) - Dosage and How to Use

How should Ciclosporin (Cyclosporine) be used?

It is given orally, consistent with relation to time of day and meals. Ciclosporin is usually given twice daily.

Your doctor will work out the correct dose of ciclosporin capsules for you depending on your body weight and your condition. You doctor will also tell you how often to take your medicine. Always follow his/her instructions.

The dose will vary for each person depending upon factors such as activities of your disease and your response to the treatment.

Swallow your capsules with a glass of water. Do not break or crush them and do not take any capsules that have broken or split open.

Treatment will continue for as long as you need immunosuppression to prevent your kidney from being targeted by your immune system.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you forget to take the tablet, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the forgotten dose. Resume the next dose at the regular timing. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten tablet.

If you forget your appointment and miss your injection, please make another appointment as soon as possible to arrange for next injection. Inform your doctor that you have missed your injection.

What should I do if I overdose?

Ciclosporin (Cyclosporine) - Handling

How should I handle Ciclosporin (Cyclosporine) safely?

Ciclosporin (Cyclosporine) - Storage

How should I store Ciclosporin (Cyclosporine)?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#Store at room temperature;#​Store below 25°C. Leave your capsules in the foil. Only remove them when it is time to take your medicine. You will notice that they have a strong and distinctive smell.

How should I dispose of Ciclosporin (Cyclosporine) safely?

Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines no longer use. These measures will help protect the environment.


Ciclosporin (Cyclosporine) - Additional Information

How LONG does it take for the medicine to be EFFECTIVE?

  • You need to take it continuously to keep your symptoms under controlled.

When do I seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY?

  • Come back to the hospital if you have:

    • Jaundice (Yellowing of the skin or eyes)
    • Excessive diarrhea and/or vomiting despite taking medicine
    • Breathlessness or persisting dry cough

Can I take other MEDICINES or SUPPLEMENTS?

  • You should avoid live vaccines such as live polio, yellow fever, rubella (German measles), MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), typhoid and BCG (tuberculosis). Flu and pneumococcal vaccines are safe and may be given if required.
  • Always check with the doctor or pharmacist first before self-treatment with any over-the-counter medicines.
  • Do not take any supplements, alternative or herbal medicines without informing your doctor.
  • Avoid taking grapefruits, pomelo, pineapple, or starfruit during treatment with ciclosporin.

Do I skip dose if I am sick?

  • Seek prompt advice from your doctor when you develop any of the serious symptoms of infection described above.
  • Your doctor will decide whether to stop ciclosporin on case by case basis.

Can I get PREGNANT or BREASTFEED?

  • Experience with ciclosporin in pregnancy is limited. In general, this medication should not be taken during pregnancy.
  • If you plan to become pregnant, discuss with your doctor alternative medicines to best prevent your kidney from being damaged by your immune system.
  • For mothers receiving ciclosporin, breastfeeding should be avoided.

In SUMMARY… what you need to know about ciclosporin?

  • Take ciclosporin regularly every day
  • Always come for your BLOOD TESTS on the scheduled date.
  • Beware of the SIDE EFFECTS and when to get immediate medical attention.
  • Never take medicines, supplements or herbal treatments OVER-THE-COUNTER without checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
  • If you (female) intent to start a family, please inform your doctor as ciclosporin may affect your fetus and sperm.
  • If you have further questions about Ciclosporin, please call ______________________ (office number) to discuss with your doctor / pharmacist / specialty nurse (please circle as appropriate).
  • Updated on Monday, February 1, 2016
  • Article contributed by Pharmacy Department, Rheumatology & Immunology KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Singapore General Hospital

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