Neoral (Cyclosporine)

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What is Neoral (Cyclosporine) prescribed for?

This medication is used to prevent organ rejection in people who have received a new liver, kidney or a heart transplant. Usually, this medication is taken alongside other medicines to allow your new organ to function normally. For those that are taking for organ rejection, this medication works by weakening the immune system to help your body accept the new organ as if it were your own.

This drug is also used to treat severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis and plaque psoriasis.  Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your body’s immune system begins to target your joint linings. And if effects both sides of your body, which in turn means both hands, both wrists, and both knees. The symmetry is what sets it apart from other types of arthritis. Plaque Psoriasis is a skin condition where you may gain red patches with a buildup of whitish dead skin cells. It's considered an autoimmune disease. Meaning your immune system attacks health cells as if it is fighting an infection. This in turn causes new skin cells to grow at a faster pace than normal and that contributes to the buildup of the thick patches.

Cyclosporine belongs to a class of drugs known as immunosuppressants. In these types of conditions, the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue, and Neoral works to prevent further damage to your joints and skin.

This medication is to be taken by mouth, usually twice a day, and can be taken with or without food. However, it is important to choose one way or another, whether your take it with food or not, and stick with it each day.

Remember the dosage given to you is based on your weight, medical condition, lab tests, and your overall response to the treatment.

Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication, unless directed otherwise by your doctor.

It may take up to 4 months before you gain the full benefit of this medication if you are using it for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic to Cyclosporine; or to any other medications or allergies in general.

Before taking this medication, it is for the best to inform your doctor of your Medical history. Report any of these conditions, if you have any of the follow; kidney disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, cancer, skin lesions of unknown cause, radiation treatment (including light treatment with PUVA or UVB), mineral imbalance (such as low level of magnesium or high level of potassium), recent/current infections, high cholesterol/triglycerides levels.

Cyclosporine can make you more likely to get infections or may worsen any current infections. Avoid contact with people who have infections that may spread to others (such as chickenpox, measles, flu). Consult your doctor if you have been exposed to an infection or for more details.

Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor. Avoid contact with people who have recently received live vaccines (such as flu vaccine inhaled through the nose).

Some of these side effects may occur when taking this medication; they are as follows; Shaking, headache, dizziness, unusual growth of body hair, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset, or flushing may occur. However if any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor right away.

Unusual growth and swelling of the gums may occur. Brush your teeth and floss daily to reduce this problem. See your dentist regularly.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: signs of kidney problems (such as a change in the amount of urine), signs of liver disease (such as nausea/vomiting that doesn't stop, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin, stomach/abdominal pain), easy bruising/bleeding, unusual tiredness, muscle weakness/spasms, slow/irregular heartbeat, numb/tingling skin, severe leg pain.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (such as confusion, difficulty concentrating), vision changes, problems with speech, clumsiness, loss of coordination, weakness on one side of the body, seizures, chest pain.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.


 What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.


 What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.


 What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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