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What are the Different Cyclosporine Side Effects?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Cyclosporine is a prescription medication that is used along with other medications to help prevent organ rejection after a transplant. This medication may also be used to treat a type of arthritis known as rheumatoid arthritis in some patients. Patients with skin conditions such as psoriasis may also benefit from taking cyclosporine. Some potential cyclosporine side effects may include gas, heartburn, or diarrhea. More serious cyclosporine side effects may include seizures, behavior changes, or unusual bruising or bleeding.

Before beginning treatment with cyclosporine, the doctor should be made aware of any medications being taken by the patient. Certain over-the-counter prescription and herbal medications may interfere with the effectiveness of cyclosporine. The patient should not have any vaccinations while taking this medication without first consulting with a doctor.

Certain dietary changes may be recommended for patients taking cyclosporine. For instance, grapefruit and grapefruit juice should be avoided when taking this medication. Some patients may be advised to reduce the amount of potassium in the diet. This will often require avoidance of foods such as bananas, oranges, and prunes. Blood tests are often performed to determine whether potassium intake needs to be reduced.

Cyclosporine side effects may range from mild to severe. Any bothersome or persistent side effects should be reported to a doctor. Some of the more common cyclosporine side effects include digestive problems such as nausea, excess gas, or diarrhea. Some patients report an increase in body hair while using this medication. Men may experience varying degrees of breast growth when taking cyclosporine.

Other possible cyclosporine side effects may include muscle or joint pain or frequent headaches. Over-the-counter pain medications usually help to alleviate these symptoms. Facial pressure or ear problems may develop in some patients. Careful monitoring by a dentist may be recommended, as growth of extra gum tissue is one of the more widely reported cyclosporine side effects.

Some cyclosporine side effects that should be reported to a doctor right away include swelling of the face, arms, or legs. In some cases, these symptoms may represent a life-threatening allergic reaction. Sudden changes in mood or behavior should also be reported right away. Some patients may begin to shake uncontrollably or actually develop a seizure disorder as a result of taking cyclosporine. It is important to report any troublesome side effects to a doctor right away so the doctor can determine if this medication should be discontinued.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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