Cyclosporine for Psoriasis
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Cyclosporine is available as a shot or as a liquid or pill that you take by mouth. The dosage of cyclosporine depends on your body weight.
How It Works
Cyclosporine suppresses the immune system and may slow the rapid growth of skin cells.
Why It Is Used
Cyclosporine is very rarely used. It is used to treat severe plaque psoriasis that has not improved with the use of methotrexate.
Cyclosporine should not be used by pregnant women or women of childbearing age.
How Well It Works
Side effects of cyclosporine include:
- Suppression of the immune system.
- Kidney problems.
- High blood pressure.
- Nonmelanoma skin cancer, especially for people who also had psoralen and UVA (PUVA) therapy.
While you are taking cyclosporine, get your blood pressure and kidney function checked regularly.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about drinking grapefruit juice while you are taking cyclosporine. Grapefruit juice can increase the level of this medicine in your blood. Having too much medicine in your blood increases your chances of having serious side effects.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Cyclosporine can suppress the body's immune system, which makes fighting infections more difficult. Cyclosporine should be prescribed only by a doctor experienced in managing psoriasis.
The safety of long-term treatment with cyclosporine is not known.
Last Revised: January 9, 2012
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