Cyclosporine is a drug prescribed to achieve immunosuppression, which is necessary in case of organ transplants, and in patients suffering from autoimmune diseases. The following HealthHearty article enlists a few side effects associated with the long-term use of this drug.
Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant, and is generally prescribed for patients with psoriasis and other autoimmune conditions, as well as during organ transplants to reduce the chances of rejection. It affects the calcium uptake in white blood cells, thus altering their functions, and causing immunosuppression.
It is available in the form of capsules, injections, and oral solutions, and is usually advised to be taken either with a meal, or between meals. The precise dosage is decided after considering the medical condition, age, weight, other drugs prescribed, and the medical history of the patient.
Side Effects of Cyclosporine
There are many side effects associated with the long-term use of this drug. Therefore, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not recommend the use of cyclosporine for more than one year.
Note: The use of cyclosporine is not recommended if one suffers from kidney diseases, high blood pressure, cancer, etc.
The common side effects include:
- Increased hair growth
- Runny nose
- Sleep disorders
- Stomach discomfort
Severe Side Effects
In some individuals, cyclosporine may trigger a severe allergy manifested through skin rash, hives, itching, breathing difficulty, tightness in the chest, and swelling of the mouth, face, lips, and/or tongue.
- Black, tarry stools
- Dark urine
- Blood in the urine
- Chest pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Flushing of the face, chest, back, or abdomen
- Development of an extra tissue on the gums
- Increased or decreased urination
- Loss of coordination
- Frequent mood changes
- Muscle cramps
- Shortness of breath
- Symptoms of infection like chills, cough, fever, and sore throat
- Formation of abnormal lumps
- Unusual bruising and bleeding
- Altered vision
- Yellowing of the skin and/or eyes
Cyclosporine suppresses the immune system, making you vulnerable to other infections, and malignancies like skin cancer and lymphomas. High dose may lead to kidney damage, and may be toxic to the liver. In the elderly, it raises the blood pressure above normal.
It is not necessary that one may suffer from all the side effects mentioned above. You should however, be careful when using the drug, and speak to your doctor immediately, if you observe or experience any unusual effects. Remember, never take the drug without a doctor’s advice, and never change the dosage without proper consultation.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.