Sandimmune is a prescription medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1983 to help prevent organ rejection in people who have received transplants. More recently, Sandimmune has been used to treat severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis when other medicines are not working. Sandimmune may be referred to by its drug name, Cyclosporine. Cyclosporine is also sold under the brand name Neoral.
Sandimmune should not be taken by pregnant women. Sandimmune should be used with caution by people who have liver or kidney problems.
Sandimmune is an immunosuppressant, or in other words, a drug that suppresses the immune system. Sandimmune is also considered a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD). Sandimmune binds to proteins in T cells, a type of white blood cell involved in autoimmune reactions, and interferes with their growth and activity. Sandimmune is believed to work by inhibiting T cells from participating in autoimmune attacks.
How do I take it?
Sandimmune is taken orally twice a day.
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking Sandimmune.
Always follow your doctor’s instructions exactly when taking Sandimmune.
A 2000 article reviewed the results of three clinical trials that studied Cyclosporine (Sandimmune) as treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. The trials included 318 participants and lasted up to one year. The researchers concluded that Cyclosporine can significantly improve pain, swelling, and function in cases of rheumatoid arthritis.
Common side effects of Sandimmune include headache, diarrhea, acne, shaking hands, increased hair growth, tingling sensation in hands and feet, mouth sores, and sore gums.
You may be more likely to contract infections, including serious and life-threatening infections, due to decreased immune system function while taking Sandimmune. Contact your doctor if you develop signs of infection such as fever, cough, trouble breathing, white patches in the mouth, or unusual vaginal discharge.
Sandimmune can cause high blood pressure and liver and kidney problems.
Seek medical help immediately if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction such as trouble breathing, severe dizziness, a rash, or itching or swelling of the face, tongue, and throat.