What Is Cyclosporine?

If you have had an organ transplant or have severe psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis, your healthcare provider may prescribe cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®). But what is cyclosporine and how does it work?
 
Cyclosporine comes as capsules, an oral liquid solution, and an intravenous (IV) injection. It comes in two different formulations: an original formulation and an altered form that is more easily absorbed into the body. The original cyclosporine (Sandimmune) is approved to prevent organ rejection in people who have received a heart, kidney, or liver transplant. Modified cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral) is approved to treat severe psoriasis and severe, active rheumatoid arthritis in people who do not adequately respond to other treatments.
 
As a type of immunosuppressant, cyclosporine works by making the immune system less active. By suppressing the immune system, cyclosporine can help prevent transplant rejection and ease symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
 
(Click Cyclosporine for more details on what cyclosporine is and how it works. This full-length article also discusses potential side effects, general dosing guidelines, possible safety concerns, and more.)
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