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Cyclosporine

___ Neoral® or ___ Sandimmune®

How does this medicine work?

Cyclosporine (sy-klo-spoor-een) is most often used to decrease the body's immune function (its ability to fight infection) and prevent rejection of a transplanted organ.

How should I give it?

There are two brand names of this medication: Neoral® and Sandimmune®. Make sure you know which one is prescribed by your doctor. Do not switch between these two brand names unless closely supervised by your doctor.

Give the dose at the same time every day.

___ If the cyclosporine is in capsule form it should be swallowed whole.

___ If using the liquid form:

Carefully draw up the correct amount in the special oral syringe or dropper provided. Give a small squirt of the medicine inside the cheek. To avoid choking, let your child swallow each squirt before giving more. Do not rinse the dropper. Wipe the dropper with a dry towel after use. This prevents diluting the medicine.

Liquid cyclosoprine can be mixed in a glass (not plastic) cup with room temperature milk, or any juice except grapefruit juice. Have your child drink it right away. Do not mix it ahead of time. Make sure your child takes all of the dose. Rinse out the glass with more milk or juice and have your child drink it.

For babies, you may want to mix the medicine with a small amount of formula or breast milk and give it with a bottle nipple before a feeding. Do not add medicine to a whole bottle because if your baby does not finish it, you will not know how much of the medicine was taken.

Note: Neoral may not taste good with milk or formula. Sometimes chocolate milk works better.

Other instructions:

 

 

 

 

Are there any precautions about food or other medicines?

Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while on cyclosporine.

Many medicines interact with cyclosporine. When your child is prescribed a new medicine, tell your doctor and pharmacist that he or she is taking cyclosporine. This includes any over-the-counter medicines or nutritional supplements.

Do not have your child immunized (vaccinated) until you have checked with your child's doctor.

What should I do if a dose is missed?

If one dose is missed, take it as soon as remembered. Never give a double dose.

If your child vomits (throws up) within 30 minutes after receiving a dose, give it again. If your child vomits after 30 minutes, do not repeat the dose.

Call the doctor if your child misses or vomits 2 doses in a row.

What are the side effects?

  • increased hair growth
  • acne (pimples), oily skin
  • mild nausea (upset stomach)
  • vomiting (throwing up)
  • diarrhea (loose bowel movements)
  • leg cramps
  • tenderness or swelling of the gums (Carefully brush your child's gums or use a cool teething ring. See a dentist regularly.)

When should I call the doctor?

Call your doctor right away if your child has any of the following:

  • continued nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • trouble seeing or hearing
  • trouble urinating
  • irregular heartbeat
  • seizures
  • sore throat, fever, or chills
  • tingling or numbness of the hands or feet
  • tremors or muscle twitches or cramps
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • signs of allergic reaction:
    • rash or hives
    • wheezing
    • trouble breathing - call 911

What else do I need to know?

Your child will need to have a blood test to adjust the dose and to be sure cyclosporine is not causing side effects.

You and your child should know the names of all the medicines he or she is taking. Share this information with anyone involved in your child's care. Please bring the medicine container when your child comes to the clinic or emergency department.

Always make sure you have enough medicine on hand. Each time you refill your prescriptions, check to see how many refills are left. If no refills are left, the pharmacist will need 2 or 3 days to contact the doctor to renew the prescription.

Check the expiration date. Once opened, the liquid medicine is only good for 2 months. Bring outdated or extra medicines back to the clinic or pharmacy for disposal. Do not put them in the toilet or the garbage.

Store the medicine in its original container, at room temperature away from direct sunlight or heat. Do not keep the liquid form in the refrigerator. Do not store in humid places such as the bathroom. Keep it out of children's reach, locked up if possible.

If too much or the wrong kind of medicine is taken, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. If your child is unconscious, call 911.

Questions?

This is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the doctor or pharmacist.


Last reviewed by Children's pharmacy  8/2015

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Family Resource Center library, or visit www.childrensmn.org/educationmaterials.

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