What is cyclosporine?

Cyclosporine or ciclosporin is an immunosuppressant drug. It reduces the body’s ability to reject a foreign organ. It prevents the attack on the new organ by the immune system of the patient who receives it during a transplant. This medicine is available both as a generic drug and under the brand names Gengraf, Neoral, or Sandimmune. Cyclosporine is available as capsules, oral solutions, eye drops, and injections.

What are the uses of cyclosporine?

Cyclosporine is an anti-rejection medication that allows the acceptance of foreign organs in the body of a patient. It is used during organ and bone marrow transplants to prevent the immune system from rejecting a newly transplanted organ, such as the liver, kidney, or heart. This prescription drug decreases the inflammation occurring due to ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and atopic dermatitis. 

Doctors prescribe a dosage of 10–15 mg/kg for adults and 10–14 mg/kg for children, twice a day. After consulting our experts, you can reduce the dose for adults or children to 5–10 mg per day after 1 or 2 weeks.


What are the side effects of cyclosporine?

Cyclosporine has mild side effects. These include:

  • Hypertension
  • Excess hair growth
  •  Swelling or inflammation in gums
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache

Some severe side effects include:

  • Blood clots in the kidney
  • Bloody urine
  • Pale stools
  • Respiratory problems

Contact our medical experts at Yashoda Hospitals in case of an emergency or complications.

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1. Does cyclosporine cause weight gain?

Yes, prolonged consumption of cyclosporine can lead to a gain in weight. Cyclosporine affects a patient’s appetite because of which there may be either weight gain or weight loss. However, only rare cases of weight change have been reported so far.

2. Is cyclosporine an antibiotic?

According to clinical studies, the antibiotic nature of cyclosporine is limited. This anti-rejection drug can protect your body against certain foreign bodies such as viruses, fungi, protozoa, and helminths. However, these effects are not significant. Infection is rare in people having an autoimmune disease. Regularly monitor your cyclosporine levels during antimicrobial treatment.

3. Can I drink alcohol while taking cyclosporine?

Yes. There is no particular reason to avoid drinking alcohol while taking cyclosporine. However, intake of red wine may decrease the levels of cyclosporine in the blood. This decrease in the levels of cyclosporine is not related to the alcohol content in red wine.

4. Does cyclosporine cause hair growth?

Yes, one side effect of taking cyclosporine is excess hair growth in certain areas. According to clinical studies, hair growth in the scalp occurs within the second and fourth weeks of treatment. Hair growth on the face and chest may occur in males. Excess hair follicles may grow around the pubic area.

5. How does cyclosporine work in the body?

Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant drug. The function of white blood cells is to fight and destroy any foreign body entering our system. Cyclosporine stops the white blood cells from attacking a transplanted organ such as a kidney, liver, or heart. This drug suppresses and thereby weakens your immune system.

6. How long does cyclosporine stay in your system?

The half-life cycle of cyclosporine ranges from 5–18 hours after consumption. After the first dose of cyclosporine, it takes around 2–3 days to achieve a stable state of blood concentration in the body. However, according to clinical studies, it is harmful to take cyclosporine for more than a year.

7. Is cyclosporine a steroid?

No, cyclosporine is not a steroid. Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant and a steroid-sparing agent. It is much safer to use it topically (applied on the skin) for prolonged periods. It is used to treat chronic inflammatory disorders. During a transplant, it is used to weaken the immune system to help the body accept the new organ.

8. What does cyclosporine do for dogs?

Cyclosporine is an immunity modulation drug used to treat allergic reactions in dogs and cats. The drug may start showing its effect on the animals within 2–3 weeks of the treatment. In some cases, it may take around 4 weeks to witness improvement in their skin condition.

9. How quickly does cyclosporine work?

Cyclosporine can provide relief from your symptoms in 2–3 weeks depending on your dosage. Generally, it takes around 2 weeks of treatment with strong doses to see an improvement in the symptoms. In some cases, it may take 3–4 months to reach optimal control.

10. Is cyclosporine safe?

Cyclosporine has both mild and severe adverse effects. Side effects include hypertension or high blood pressure, urinary problems, and increased risk of malignant cancerous tumors. High doses may cause liver damage or failure. If you have liver problems, check your liver enzyme levels and discontinue cyclosporine to avoid the risk of hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity. It can be fatal in rare scenarios. Contact our team at Yashoda Hospitals with your queries regarding dosage, side effects, and precautions before taking cyclosporine.



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