The immune system protects an individual's body from perceived threats. Two major examples are bacteria and viruses! However, many elements result in the immune system becoming unregulated. This causes serious health issues if it is left unchecked. Two examples include organ damage and chronic inflammation. Thankfully, cyclosporine helps deal with an unregulated immune system. It can even prevent it! This is because it is an immunosuppressant.
Cyclosporine pills are quite common after an organ transplant. Some patients even receive them before the transplant! Some eye conditions will even include this medication as prescription eye drops. Patients receive this medication as a treatment for psoriasis or an arthritis treatment too. However, individuals need to understand how cyclosporine tablets function, the medication side effects, drug interactions, and major benefits first.
How It Works
Cyclosporine is a medication that suppresses the immune system by reducing calcineurin! This enzyme is a significant part of the immune system. The reason is that it is a vital part of making T-cells, which are one type of white blood cells. They damage foreign cells in the body, since they believe that they are threats! Unfortunately, T-cells can attack an organ's cells during a transplant. This is because they believe the transplanted organ is a foreign threat. T-cells also influence inflammation. They do this by activating other white blood cells responsible for triggering inflammation!
An overactive immune system can cause autoimmune disorders as well as health issues involving chronic inflammation. This also applies if an individual's immune system is not working correctly in another way. As mentioned, this medication reduces calcineurin. This is the enzyme that regulates an individual's T-cells! Due to this, it can prevent many of these health conditions.
Get to know the uses and benefits of this medication next!
Uses And Benefits
Cyclosporine is an excellent treatment for many conditions. Of course, these health problems involve immune dysfunction! The most common of these is transplant rejection. This is also called graft rejection. This condition means the recipient's immune system is rejecting the transplanted organ. Organ rejection is the result of the immune system considering the cells in the new organ as foreign! This medication helps stop this from happening. The reason is that it is an immunosuppressant. This means it suppresses the immune system and its response!
This drug also treats graft-versus-host disease. This condition means the white blood cells from the transplanted stem cells or bone marrow attack the cells in the patient's body! This medication benefits many other inflammatory conditions. Specifically, it helps those where an immune disorder triggers inflammation of the joints, eyes, and skin, as well as other body parts. Examples include rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis!
Uncover the side effects of this drug next.
Cyclosporine has quite a few different side effects. They range from mild to severe and vary based on how this medication is given to the patient! Common side effects include tremors, low magnesium, excessive hair growth, and high blood pressure. Others are gum overgrowth and blood clots in the kidneys. These side effects often appear with the injectable and oral forms of this medication. Another common side effect is nephrotoxicity. This is when there are excess toxins in the kidneys! It happens when patients take this medication over a long period or in high doses. There are less common side effects too, such as kidney damage, lung issues, and liver damage. Unfortunately, these side effects are more serious!
Many of the side effects come from the narrowing of blood vessels. This is another side effect and is also called vasoconstriction! In addition, patients deal with eye side effects when they use this medication in eye drop form. Examples include redness, itching, burning, and dryness of the eyes! Unfortunately, patients on this medication are at a higher risk of infection, no matter what form they are prescribed. This is because it is an immunosuppressant!
Reveal the precautions linked to this medication next.
Precautions To Remember
There are many precautions to remember with cyclosporine! Kidney disease patients, individuals with high blood pressure, and seniors need to discuss this drug with their doctor first. These individuals are at a higher risk of kidney damage already, especially with this medication added! Creatine supplements also increase this risk. This is because cyclosporin can trigger higher creatinine in the blood, and taking both can overwhelm the kidneys. In addition, patients cannot drink alcohol on this medication. This is because if they do, they are at an extremely high risk of kidney and liver damage!
Liver disease patients face other complications in addition to liver damage on this medication. Reduced liver function slows down how fast the patient's body can metabolize this drug. Thus, it can build in the liver and the rest of the patient's body to an excessive amount! As mentioned, cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant. This is why individuals with any active infection need to avoid taking it. This applies to fungal, bacterial, and viral infections.
Discover the medication interactions next.
Cyclosporine inhibits CYP3A4. This enzyme removes drugs and toxins from an individual's body! Thus, taking this drug with certain medications causes increased levels of cyclosporine or the other drug. These increased levels are often dangerous! The kidneys are often compromised because they will excrete harmful substances at a significantly slower rate. Thus, toxins will build in the kidneys. Cyclosporine also interacts with certain medications in many classes, including steroids, antibiotics, blood pressure drugs, and antivirals.
Patients are at a high risk of neurotoxicity if they take this drug with high doses of methylprednisolone. Thus, some patients will experience convulsive seizures as a result! In addition, this medication can reduce an individual's magnesium. This is why it can cause a serious interaction when taken with other magnesium-reducing medications. Overall, patients must talk to their doctor about their current medications before adding this one. This is to prevent medication interactions!