Ciclosporin is used on its own or together with other medicines to prevent organ rejection in heart, kidney, and liver transplants.
It may also be used to treat chronic organ rejection and certain immune disorders of the skin, joints, and kidney.
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Ciclosporin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food. Try to take it consistently with relation to meals and at the same time each day.
Ciclosporin is available as a capsule or as an oral solution.
If you have been given the oral solution, use the dosing syringe supplied with each bottle to measure out your dose. Refer to the package insert for directions on how the syringe should be used. The oral solution can be mixed with a glass of non-alcoholic drink such as milk, chocolate milk, orange juice, or apple juice. Once it is mixed, drink it immediately. Some formulation of this medicine may not be preferable to mix with milk, ask your doctor or pharmacist what beverage you can use to mix with your medicine.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type and severity of your condition.
Ciclosporin must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- abnormal kidney function
- uncontrolled high blood pressure
- uncontrolled infections
- undergoing radiation therapy e.g. psoralen and ultraviolet A (PUVA) photochemotherapy, ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation
as Ciclosporin may not be suitable for you.
Do not breastfeed while you are being treated with this medicine.
Do not take Ciclosporin with other medicines used for psoriasis (a type of skin disease that allows the skin cells to rapidly build up causing itchy patches of thick, red skin and silvery scales). Please see the section “Can I take this with other medicines?” below for more information.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- high level of uric acid in the blood
- subjected to potassium-rich diet
- liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant.
Do not switch brands unless instructed by your doctor. This is because different brands of Ciclosporin may have slightly different ways of working in your body.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Physical and dermatological examination may be done before treatment with this medicine in individuals who are being treated for skin disease.
- Routine tests (e.g. liver and kidney function, cholesterol, sugar, and electrolyte levels) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine.
- Your blood pressure may rise to unsafe levels without you noticing it. Monitor your blood pressure during treatment.
Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Ciclosporin may cause any of the following side effects: headache, nausea, diarrhoea, stomach pain or discomfort, tiredness, excessive hair growth, uncontrollable shaking of your body, muscle cramps, numbness and abnormal tingling sensation, gum swelling, flushing and acne.
This medicine may also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Apply sunscreen when going outdoors and avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV lamps.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, sore throat, joint pain
- yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark coloured urine, swelling in the legs and ankles
- abnormal decrease in frequency and amount of urine, blood in urine, weight gain
- fits or seizures
- lump in armpit, groin, or neck
- unusual bruising or bleeding
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Ciclosporin with the following medicines:
- other medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders e.g. methotrexate
- coal tar (medicine used for skin diseases)
Avoid vaccinations with live vaccines during treatment with this medicine. Inform your doctor if you have been recently vaccinated or if you are planning to get vaccinated.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking or using any of these medicines:
- antibiotics e.g. azithromycin, gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, vancomycin, co-trimoxazole
- medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. ketoconazole, amphotericin B
- medicines for high blood pressure e.g. nifedipine, amlodipine, candesartan, captopril
- water pills or medicines for water retention e.g. spironolactone
- cholesterol-lowering medicines e.g. atorvastatin, fenofibrate
- NSAIDs (medicines for pain and inflammation) e.g. diclofenac, naproxen
- stomach medicines e.g. cimetidine
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizure) e.g. carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbital
- medicines for cancer e.g. melphalan
- medicine to treat TB (a lung infection known as tuberculosis) e.g. rifampicin
- other medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders e.g. everolimus, sirolimus, tacrolimus
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. ritonavir, delavirdine
- bosentan (medicine used to treat high blood pressure that affects the blood vessels in your lungs)
- St. John’s wort (herbal medicine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Ciclosporin.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid alcohol and grapefruit or grapefruit juice.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.