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Medications > Cyclosporine (Neoral) > Cyclosporine (Neoral) – pictopamphlet

CYCLOSPORINE (Neoral) [S-eye-clo-SPOR-in]

How to use this medication

What is it

Cyclosporine is a medication used to treat diseases like lupus and vasculitis. While taking this medicine it is important to have blood tests done and see your doctor on a regular basis.

Take it twice a day

The normal dose of cyclosporine is between 50 and 150 mg taken twice per day. The dose is based on your weight. Cyclosporine is available as capsules and as a liquid.

Be patient

It will take 3 to 4 months for the cyclosporine to work. It is important for you to keep taking the medicine.

What you need to do

Stop if you have an infection

Cyclosporine can make it harder for you to fight off infections.  Stop the medicine and call your rheumatologist if:

  • You develop a fever
  • You think you have an infection
  • You are given antibiotics to treat an infection

Get regular blood tests

Have your blood tested REGULARLY. This is important to make sure cyclosporine isn’t affecting your blood counts or kidneys.

Get your blood pressure checked

Cyclosporine can cause your blood pressure to rise. It is important to have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.

Drug interactions

There are several prescription medications that are not safe to take with cyclosporine. Discuss any new medication with your doctor.

Side effects & important things to know

Nausea & feeling unwell

Some people can feel sick to their stomach, bloated, have stomach pain, or develop diarrhea when they take cyclosporine. Please let your doctor know if this happens.


Cyclosporine can affect your kidneys. Your kidneys are watched through regular blood testing.  Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day to flush your kidneys.


Cyclosporine can irritate the liver.  This is rare and watched through regular blood testing.

Other side effects

Cyclosporine can cause other side effects:



Increased hair growth on the face or arms

Swelling of the gums


Tingling in the fingers, toes, tip of the nose, tongue, or lips

Weakness and muscle cramps



Cyclosporine is not normally taken during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or are planning to become pregnant please let your doctor know.


When used for long periods of time, cyclosporine may be associated with a small risk of lymphoma and skin cancer.

When should I call my doctor

Please call if you need to stop

  • If you feel sick and want to stop
  • If you are concerned about any side effects
  • If you want to or have already stopped the medicine

Other Reasons to Call your Doctor:

New high blood pressure

Fever or think you have an infection

Pregnant or planning pregnancy

Severe new headache

If you are having surgery

Other important information

Stopping Cyclosporine

You can simply stop taking cyclosporine. Please call your doctor if you stop the medication.