( cyclosporine )
25 mg capsule
100 mg capsule
To reduce inflammation and
disease progression in rheumatoid arthritis.
For reduction of inflammation in
difficult severe rheumatoid arthritis not responsive to other agents. ( This
use is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration )
Use in rheumatoid arthritis is
generally 3 to 5 mg per kilogram body weight per day. For a 150-pound man
this is 200 to 350 mg per day.
The principal adverse reactions
are kidney failure, tremor, excess hair growth, and problems with the gums.
In rheumatoid arthritis the major problem has been with the kidneys and this
often requires discontinuation of the drug. the kidney failure is generally
Cyclosporine was developed as a
drug to prevent rejection of kidney, heart, and other organ transplants. It
is a strong immunosuppressant. in rheumatoid arthritis its use is reserved
for severely affected persons and it should be given only by physicians who
are thoroughly familiar with its use. It can be very effective in some
patients. The problem is rheumatoid arthritis patients is the kidney damage
and this occurs at lower doses than in transplant patients. Hence, the dose
is lower for rheumatoid arthritis patients. Some patients have had severe
disease flare-ups after stopping cyclosporine. Researchers are exploring
several ways to reduce the kidney problems, and we may have some progress in
this area soon.