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What Factors Affect a Sufficient Cyclosporine Dose?

By S. Berger
Updated May 17, 2024
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Cyclosporine is a medication that is classified as an immunosuppressant, and is often used to decrease immune responses to organ transplants. Normally, organ transplants have a risk of being rejected by the body's immune system, so drugs like cyclosporine help the body to accommodate the new organ. Other conditions like autoimmune diseases may be treated with this drug, and the cyclosporine dose used for an individual often depends on the condition being treated. Variables such as patient age, and existing renal, or kidney, function and hepatic, or liver, conditions can also influence dosages for a patient.

The dose of cyclosporine given to prevent transplant rejection in adults may be given intravenously (IV) or orally. An IV dose usually involves 2 milligrams (mg) to 4 mg per 1 kilogram (kg), or 2.2 pounds (lb) of body weight given over four to six hours. This dosage may be split in half and given twice a day, or can be given throughout a day-long period, instead. Oral dosages for this purpose are usually 8 mg to 12 mg per 1 kg or 2.2 lb, administered two times a day.

Children taking this drug to prevent transplant rejection generally use an equivalent initial cyclosporine dose to adults. Often, this dose is reduced over time to allow for better immune system function. Doctors often lower pediatric doses to 3 mg to 5 mg per 1 kg (2.2 lb) body weight per day after several days of treatment.

Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune syndrome, can be treated with an emulsion or oral cyclosporine dose as well. For an emulsion, 5 mg per 1 kg or 2.2 lb body weight is given in two separate doses every day. Alternately, oral administration uses a starting dose of 1.25 mg per 1 kg (2.2 lb) body weight is given two times a day. This dosage may be increased after eight weeks, and again after 12 weeks, if needed. Total oral dosages should not usually go higher than 4 mg per 1 kg (2.2 lb) body weight per day, however.

Kidney and liver conditions can influence how quickly cyclosporine is broken down and excreted. Generally, these conditions cause this medication to remain in the body exerting its effects for longer periods of time. Doctors may choose to lower the dose of this medication in patients with kidney damage. For patients with liver problems, the starting cyclosporine dose is usually decreased to half of what it would be. Depending on how a patient responds, this dosage may be increased with time.

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