Cyclosporine and Lupus
Cyclosporine (Neoral®) is a drug that was originally developed to prevent organ rejection in people who had undergone transplants. Today, it is used in the treatment of a number of inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and lupus.
Cyclosporine is a powerful drug. It can have a number of effects on the body, including high blood pressure and kidney and liver problems. As a result, it is important that you understand how it is used to treat your lupus. You will need to work closely with your doctor and nurse to make sure that the amount of the drug you are taking gives you the benefits you need with as few side effects as possible.
Possible Side Effects
These include acne or oily skin; bleeding, tender, or enlarged gums; frequent need to urinate; headaches; high blood pressure; increased hair growth; kidney problems; leg cramps; nausea; trembling and shaking of hands.
Tell your nurse or doctor right away if you have any side effects.
- Do not take more than the recommended dose.
- Avoid exposure to infections. Stay away from crowds and people known to have colds, the flu, or other infections. Let your doctor or nurse know if you experience symptoms of infection.
- Tell any nurse, doctor, or dentist who is taking care of you that you are taking cyclosporine for your lupus.
- WARNING! Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking this medication. Either can increase your risk of side effects by increasing the amount of cyclosporine in your body.