Medication
Cyclosporine

Used to treat:

Atopic dermatitis (severe)

Cyclosporine has been used for many years to treat severe atopic dermatitis that does not respond to other treatment. In clinical trials, patients taking cyclosporine have experienced prompt relief, but most see a rapid relapse after stopping the medication. Long-term maintenance therapy tends to keep atopic dermatitis in remission.

What it does: Cyclosporine suppresses the patientís T cells (a type of white blood cell), which prevents the immune system from overreacting. Without this reaction, atopic dermatitis does not flare.
Potential side effects limit the use of cyclosporine. These include increased risk of developing cancers, tingling or burning sensations in the arms or legs, fatigue, abdominal upset, musculoskeletal or joint pain, and headache.

How to use: Available in capsule or liquid form, cyclosporine should be taken only as prescribed. Topical preparations of cyclosporine are not available because the medication cannot penetrate the skin.
Before taking cyclosporine, a patientís kidney function and blood pressure must be checked. If cyclosporine is prescribed, these will be monitored regularly during therapy.

Other key facts: Cyclosporine is a potent medication that suppresses the immune system. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it for preventing organ rejection following a transplant operation. When used along with other medications, cyclosporine proves very effective in preventing organ rejection. The medication also helps control severe psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.

 


All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology

Dermatologists consider cyclosporine only when a patient has severe atopic dermatitis and other therapies have proven ineffective.


 
 

 

 

 

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Page last updated 4/3/07

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