Neoral (Cyclosporine) is a medication that treats rheumatic diseases by suppressing the immune system. It works by reducing the activity of T-cells, a type of white blood cell that plays an important part in the body’s immune system.
Neoral is used to treat several different types of arthritis, as well as immune disorders of the eyes, lungs, muscles, skin, nerves, and blood vessels. Neoral is also used to help prevent organ rejection in transplant patients.
Neoral is available in 25, 50, and 100mg oral capsules, as well as a liquid oral suspension.
The normal dose of Neoral is between 50 and 150 mg taken twice per day. The dose is based on the patient’s body weight (2.5mg per kilogram of body weight per day). Doses should be spaced 12 hours apart.
It can take 3 to 4 months for the Neoral to work. It is important for people starting this medication to give it a chance and to keep taking it as prescribed.
Important Tests and Risks
Patients taking Neoral should get their blood and urine tested regularly (every two weeks to every month). It is important for doctors to make sure that Neoral is not affecting blood counts or harming the kidneys or liver.
Patients starting Neoral should have their blood pressure checked every week for the first month of therapy, and then every month after that, for as long as they are taking the medicine.
Neoral can make it a bit harder for people to fight off infections. Patients taking this medicine should call their doctor they have a fever, think they have an infection, or have been prescribed antibiotics to treat an infection.
Patients should coordinate with their doctor to stop treatment before any surgery. It can be re-started once things have healed and there’s no sign of infection.
Patients should discuss all vaccinations with their doctor because some are not advisable to get while taking Neoral.
Several prescription medications which can interact with Neoral. Patients should make sure that their doctor knows every medicine and supplement that they are taking. Common over-the-counter medications including cold remedies, pain medication, cough syrup, and laxatives are not known to interact with Neoral. It is not known how Neoral may interact with most herbal medications. Patients should NOT use Echinacea as it appears to increase the risk of kidney side effects.
Neoral should not be taken with grapefruit juice because it interferes with the absorption of the medication.
It is recommended that patients taking Neoral drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day (1.5 liters) to help their kidney function.