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Cyclosporine is used during transplant procedures, certain eye conditions  (endogenous uveitis, including Behçet's uveitis), skin diseases (atopic dermatitis, or eczema and psoriasis), severe rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory disorder that typically affects the small joints in hands and feet), severe acute ulcerative colitis (disease that causes ulcers on the lining of the large gut) and a kidney disease called nephrotic syndrome.

How it works

Cyclosporine belongs to a class of drugs called immunosuppressive agents. It lowers the body’s immune response thereby preventing the attack on the transplanted tissue or the body’s own cells.

Common side effects

Decreased urination, Paresthesia (tingling or pricking sensation), Persistent cough, Acne, Bruise, Bleeding, Blood in urine, Chills, Dark colored urine, Diarrhoea, Dizziness, Gingival hypertrophy, Swelling of gums, Headache, Liver toxicity, Increased potassium level in blood, Increased blood pressure, Increased hair growth, Loss of appetite, Sticky stools, Stomach upset, Facial swelling, Tremor, Vision disorder, Yellow discoloration of skin, Yellow discoloration of eye


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Expert advice

• Take precaution while using Cyclosporine as it affects your ability to fight against infection.
• Seek immediate medical attention if you have any signs of active infection like fever, sore throat, in case you have gout or if you are taking any medications for the same or if you need any vaccination.
• Your blood parameters will be monitored regularly for the Cyclosporine content in the blood especially post-transplantation or if you have any liver, kidney diseases or high blood pressure (hypertension).
• Inform your doctor if you have history of fits (epilepsy) or any alcohol-related problems.
• Avoid direct exposure to sunlight or UV light while on treatment with Cyclosporine, as immune system suppression increases the risk of developing skin and lymphoid system cancers. 
• Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
• Patients allergic to Cyclosporine or any of its ingredients should avoid it.
• Cyclosorine should not be administered to patients receiving radiation therapy, including psoralen ultraviolet A (PUVA) or ultraviolet B (UVB) therapy, for psoriasis.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is Cyclosporine cytotoxic?
No, Cyclosporine is not cytotoxic
Q. Is Cyclosporine a steroid/ sulfa drug? 
No, Cyclosporine is not a steroid or sulfa drug, but a cyclic peptide isolated from fungal source.
Q. Does Cyclosporine affect fertility & birth control?
No, Cyclosporine is not known to impair fertility and has no known effects on birth control
Q. Does Cyclosporine cause weight gain, constipation or hair loss?
No, Cyclosporine has no known effects on weight gain, constipation or hair loss.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)