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What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune)?
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to cyclosporine. You may not be able to use cyclosporine if you have:
If you are being treated for psoriasis, you should not receive ultraviolet light therapy (PUVA or UVB), radiation treatments, coal tar, or drugs that weaken the immune system (such as methotrexate) while you are receiving cyclosporine.
MAKE SURE ALL DOCTORS INVOLVED IN YOUR CARE KNOW YOU ARE TAKING CYCLOSPORINE.
Cyclosporine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections, or cause your body to produce too much of a certain type of white blood cells. This can lead to serious and sometimes fatal conditions, including cancer, a severe brain infection that can lead to disability or death, or a virus that can cause failure of a transplanted kidney. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether cyclosporine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
Cyclosporine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using cyclosporine.
How should I take cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
You may take cyclosporine with or without food, but take it the same way each time. Cyclosporine should be given in two separate doses each day. Try to take the medication at the same dosing times each day.
If your doctor changes your brand, strength, or type of cyclosporine, your dosage needs may change. Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions about the new kind of cyclosporine you receive at the pharmacy.
Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one. Sandimmune oral solution may be mixed with milk, chocolate milk, or orange juice at room temperature to make the medicine taste better. Neoral "modified" (microemulsion) oral solution should be mixed with orange juice or apple juice that is at room temperature.
You will need regular medical tests to be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects. Visit your doctor regularly. Do not miss any follow up visits to your doctor for blood or urine tests.
Your condition may need to be treated with a combination of different drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice. Every person taking cyclosporine should remain under the care of a doctor.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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