WHAT IS CYCLOSPORINE?
Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressive drug meaning it suppresses your body?s immune power. The immune system helps your body to guard against invading foreign bodies which can cause infections and illnesses thereby preventing common or dangerous diseases. The same immune system can be a disadvantage during an organ transplant as it will treat the organ to be implanted as a foreign body and your body will reject it (organ) completely from integrating.
Cyclosporine is used along with other medications to stop your body from rejecting a transplanted heart, liver, or kidney. This medication may also be given for conditions other than that mentioned here. Cyclosporine oral is sold under various trade names, a couple of which are Sandimmune and Panimum (made by Panacea (India)).
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT CYCLOSPORINE:
Cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Panimum) being an immunosuppressive drug may increase your likelihood of catching serious and life threatening infections, cancer, or render the transplant useless. Therefore, it is important that you avoid contact with sick people or places where chances of catching an infection are high like a hospital. While taking this medication, you will be required to undergo regular medical tests to ensure that it is not causing dangerous effects. Don?t avoid any prescribed tests.
Cyclosporine can be detrimental to your kidney health, and the danger increases many fold if you also take some other drugs that are damaging to kidneys. So tell your doctor beforehand if you take any other medications including OTCs or related products.
Cyclosporine has the potential to cause some serious side effects such as kidney failure and life threatening infections. Seek immediate medical attention at the first sign of a potential kidney damage (less or no urination, rapid weight gain, or swelling), or an infection (fever, sweating, chills, sore throat, or flu symptoms).
Cyclosporine may not be suitable for you if you have kidney disease, untreated or uncontrolled hypertension, cancer, or psoriasis that has been treated with PUCA, UVB, radiation, methotrexate, or coal tar.
BEFORE TAKING CYCLOSPORINE:
Don?t take Cyclosporine medication (Sandimmune, Panimum) if you are allergic to it. Cyclosporine lowers blood cells that are primary bodyguard against infections. It can also cause your body to generate a large quantity of certain white blood cells. All of these can result in serious and sometimes fatal outcomes like cancer, serious brain infection that can cause disability or death, or your body catching a virus that can lead to failure of a transplanted kidney. Cyclosporine usage over a long time may also increase a likelihood of developing skin cancer. Ask your doctor about all the risks associated with this medication.
Cyclosporine is categorized as a FDA pregnancy category C drug. Effects of this drug on unborn baby are not known. Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Cyclosporine can pass into breast milk and harm your baby. It is not recommended if you are nursing a baby.
HOW SHOULD I TAKE CYCLOSPORINE?
You must take Cyclosporine medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Don?t alter the prescribed dosage in any way unless or otherwise directed by your doctor who may occasionally change your dosage. Always store Cyclosporine medication in a cool and dry place. Ensure that children or pets don?t have access to it or any other medications.
WHAT IF I MISS A DOSE OF CYCLOSPORINE?
Don?t forget to take the Cyclosporine at the scheduled time. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. However don?t take the missed dose if time to take the next dose is almost near. Take the next dose on its time and follow the normal schedule. Never double dose on this or any medication
WHAT IF I OVERDOSE?
In case of an overdose, seek emergency medical help or call the Doctor immediately. Overdose may lead to nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, appetite loss, or urinating less than usual or not at all.
THINGS AND ACTIVITIES TO AVOID WHILE TAKING CYCLOSPORINE:
Avoid grapefruit and related products while taking Cyclosporine as grapefruit consumption along with Cyclosporine can cause unwanted side effects. Don?t go near sick people; let your doctor know immediately if you develop an infection.
Don?t get a live vaccine while taking Cyclosporine. The vaccine will not be effective and at the same time lead to serious infections.
CYCLOSPORINE SIDE EFFECTS:
• Breathing difficulty
• Swelling in different places
• Flu symptopms
• Change in mental state
• Vision problems
• Speech and walking problems
• Pale or yellow colored skin
• Dark urine
• Weakness or confusion
• Concentration difficulty
• Light headedness
• Shortness of breath
• Increase heart rate
• Decrease urination
• Cough with mucus or blood
• Excessive sweating
• Increased potassium in blood (muscle weakness, tingy feeling)
• Low magnesium (slow reflexes, jerky muscle movements)
• High blood pressure
• High sugar
• Stomach pain
• Swelling in limbs
CYCLOSPORINE DOSING INFORMATION:
Dosing of Cyclosporine depends on various factors and your doctor may fix an appropriate dose for you after thorough examination and tests. Seriousness of condition, age, sex and a host of other factors are taken into consideration while deciding the dosage of Cyclosporine. Strictly stick to the prescribed dosage for best results.
INTERACTION WITH OTHER DRUGS:
Some of the drugs that are damaging to kidneys when taken while also taking Cyclosporine can be very damaging to the kidneys. Those drugs are St John?s Wort; stomach acid reducers; an antibiotic or antifungal medication; cancer drugs, cholesterol reducing drugs; gout medication; drugs for psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other autoimmune diseases; or NSAIDs(ibuprofen, naproxen and others).
Some other interacting drugs are birth control pills, diuretics, HIV/AIDS drugs; seizure drugs; or steroidal drugs. These are not all the drugs that can interact with Cyclosporine and there may be other drugs which can interact with it. Share your medical history and list of all present medications which you may be taking. Do not start a new medication without proper medical advice.