Ciclosporin is the active ingredient of CicloHexal capsules (Nappi code:
899208-002, 899216-005), CicloHexal oral solution (Nappi code: 899221-005),
Sandimmun injection (Nappi code: 762296-003) and Sandimmun neoral capsules
(Nappi code: 702045-001, 815926-006, 815918-003).
Ciclosporin is an immuno-suppressant. Immuno-suppressants are drugs that slow
the body's immune system in an attempt to keep it from mistakenly fighting
healthy tissues. This is of particular use following organ transplants, when the
patient's immune system may reject the transplanted organ, unless the immune
system is controlled.
In South Africa ciclosporin is registered for the treatment of use after a
variety of transplants, including kidney, liver, pancreas, heart, lung and bone
marrow transplants. It is also indicated for the treatment of severe psoriasis,
and severe acute rheumatoid arthritis and severe atopic dermatitis, where
conventional therapy is ineffective or inappropriate.
For this medication to be effective, it has to be taken regularly, even if
you do not notice an immediate effect. The decision to stop using this
medication should only be made by your doctor.
Because this type of medicine increases the risk of certain types of cancer,
particularly skin cancer, it is advised that you minimise sun/UV exposure and
make use of protective measures to protect your skin.
Ciclosporin lowers the body's ability to fight infection. Try to avoid
infections by avoiding crowds or people who have infections. You should
furthermore avoid vaccinations while being treated with this medication.
How does ciclosporin work?
Your white blood cells play an integral part in your body's immune system.
Ciclosporin works by suppressing certain functions of these white blood cells,
thereby weakening the effect of your immune system.
Drug schedule: schedule 4
Available as: siclosporin is available as capsules, oral solution and
What does it do? Ciclosporin slows the body's immune system in an
attempt to keep it from mistakenly fighting healthy tissues, such as after an
Overdose risk: medium
Dependence risk: low
Is ciclosporin available as a generic? yes
Is ciclosporin available on prescription only? yes
Onset of effect: within 12 hours
Duration of action: up to 3 days
Dietary advice: can be taken with food. Avoid grapefruit juice.
Stopping this medicine: do not stop taking this drug without
consulting your doctor.
Prolonged use: regular liver and kidney tests should be performed, and
blood levels of ciclosporin should be monitored regularly.
Consult your doctor before using this drug if:
- you have a kidney or liver disease
- you have an infection of some sort
- you have a blood disorder
- you have any chronic illness
- you pregnant or plan to fall pregnant
- you are breastfeeding
Pregnancy: avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported.
Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: avoid. This medication is passed through breastmilk and
may affect your baby adversely. Consult your doctor before use.
Porphyria: avoid. This medication may cause serious adverse effects.
Consult your doctor before use.
Infants and children: a reduced dose is advised.
The elderly: caution is advised in the elderly as side effects are
more likely to occur.
Driving and hazardous work: no special precautions need to be
Alcohol: avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication.
Possible side effects
||Consult your doctor
||Only if severe
||In all cases|
|high blood pressure
|excessive bosy hair growth
|signs of infection
Ciclosporin may interact with a large number of medicines. Always ask your
doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicine, including over-the-counter
A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large
overdose, seek emergency medical attention.
Ciclosporin has been investigated as a possible neuro-protective agent in
conditions such as traumatic brain injury, and has been shown in animal
experiments to reduce brain damage associated with injury.
This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for
informational purposes only.
Please consult a physician for specific treatment and