Cyclosporine (Systemic)

(SYE kloe spor een)

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Gengraf
  • Neoral
  • SandIMMUNE

Brand Names: Canada

  • Apo-Cyclosporine®
  • Neoral®
  • Rhoxal-cyclosporine
  • Sandimmune® I.V.
  • Sandoz-Cyclosporine

What key warnings do I need to know about before giving this drug to my child?

  • Your child may have more chance of getting infections. Avoid crowds and people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • There is more than 1 brand of this drug. One brand cannot safely be used for the other. Your doctor will tell you about any needed change.
  • This drug may raise your child's chance of lymphoma and other cancers.
  • This drug may cause kidney problems in some patients. Talk with the doctor.
  • This drug may cause high blood pressure.
  • If your child is taking this drug for psoriasis AND your child got other drugs to treat this health problem, your child's chance of skin cancer may be higher.
  • Sometimes drugs are not safe when your child takes them with other drugs. Taking them together can cause bad side effects. This is one of those drugs. Be sure to talk to your child’s doctor about all the drugs your child takes.

Is it safe for my child to take this drug?

  • Not if your child has an allergy to cyclosporine or any other part of this drug.
  • Be sure to let the doctor know if your child has any allergies or side effects to drugs, foods, or dyes. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs your child had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • Not if your child has any of these health problems: Cancer, psoriasis and getting light therapy, poor kidney function, or very high blood pressure.

Why does my child need this drug?

  • It is used to keep the body from harming the organ after an organ transplant.
  • It is used to treat arthritis.
  • It is used to treat autoimmune diseases.
  • It is used to treat psoriasis.

How is this drug given?

  • Oral:
  • Give on an empty stomach. Give 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.
  • Have your child swallow whole. Do not let your child chew, break, or crush.
  • There is a liquid (suspension) if your child cannot swallow pills. Shake well before use.
  • Children who have feeding tubes may also use the liquid. Flush the feeding tube before and after this drug is given.
  • Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug. If there is none, get an oral syringe, a dropper, a spoon, or a cup (only for older children) from your pharmacist.
  • Shot:
  • It is given as a shot into a vein.

How long does this drug take to work?

  • It may take a few weeks to see the full effect.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

  • Give a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your child's next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your child's normal time.
  • Do not give 2 doses or extra doses.
  • Do not change the dose or stop your child's drug. Talk with your child's doctor.

What safety measures do I need to take when my child is using this drug?

  • If your child has liver disease, talk with the doctor.
  • If your child has seizures, talk with the doctor.
  • Have your child's blood work checked often. Talk with your child's doctor.
  • Check all drugs your child is taking with your child's doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your child's drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child's doctor.
  • Do not have other household members get the oral polio vaccine while your child is taking this drug.
  • Talk with the doctor before your child gets any vaccines. Use with this drug may either raise the chance of very bad infection or make the vaccine not work as well.
  • Do not give antacids, cholestyramine, or colestipol within 2 hours of this drug.
  • If your child is taking this drug and has high blood pressure, talk with the doctor before giving OTC products that may raise blood pressure. These include cough or cold drugs, diet pills, stimulants, ibuprofen or like products, and some natural products or aids.
  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that your child is using this drug.
  • If your child drinks grapefruit juice or eats grapefruit often, talk with your child's doctor.

What are some side effects of this drug?

  • Your child may have more chance of getting infections. Avoid crowds and people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • High blood pressure. Have your child's checked before starting this drug.
  • Kidney function that gets worse.
  • Headache.
  • Belly pain.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals and good mouth care may help. Older children may suck hard, sugar-free candy.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Hair growth.

When do I need to call my child's doctor?

  • If any of this news causes you to be worried, any of the unwanted side effects happen, or if your child is not better after taking this drug.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
  • If your child shows signs of a very bad reaction, call your child's doctor or the ER right away. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or if your child is not acting normal.
  • If your child shows any signs of infection. These include a fever of 100.5°F (38°C) or higher, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color or sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, wound that will not heal, or anal itching or pain.
  • If your child has a change in thinking clearly and with logic.
  • If your child has a bad headache.
  • If your child has a very bad upset stomach or is throwing up.
  • If your child has very loose stools (diarrhea).
  • If your child is not able to pass urine.
  • If your child has very bad skin irritation.
  • If your child gets a rash.
  • If your child’s health problem does not get better or if you believe your child’s health problem is worse.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • Oral:
  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store liquid (solution) at room temperature. Throw away any part not used after 2 months.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Shot:
  • The shot will be given to your child in a hospital or doctor's office. You will not store it at home.
  • Protect from light.

General drug facts

  • If your child has a very bad allergy, he/she needs to wear an allergy ID at all times.
  • You may get this drug by drug order only. If there are refills, call your pharmacy. If your child does not have refills left, you may need to call your child's doctor.
  • Get rid of this drug when your child no longer needs it or if the drug is outdated.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
  • Do not share your child's drug with others and do not give anyone else's drug to your child.
  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your child's drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child's doctor.
  • These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
  • Talk with the doctor before giving your child any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • If you do not use a drug the right way, it may not be safe. Follow what your child’s doctor tells you.