May 27, 2017
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Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Contamination of Tip and Solution

To minimize contaminating the dropper tip and solution, care should be taken not to touch the eyelids or surrounding areas with the dropper tip of the bottle. Keep bottle tightly closed when not in use.

Benign Intracranial Hypertension

There have been reports of benign intracranial hypertension (or pseudotumor cerebri) associated with oral cysteamine treatment that has resolved with the addition of diuretic therapy.

There have also been reports associated with ophthalmic use of cysteamine; however, all of these patients were on concurrent oral cysteamine.

Use with Contact Lenses

CYSTARAN contains benzalkonium chloride, which may be absorbed by soft contact lenses. Contact lenses should be removed prior to application of solution and may be reinserted 15 minutes following its administration [see PATIENT INFORMATION].

Topical Ophthalmic Use Only

CYSTARAN is for topical ophthalmic use only.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Cysteamine has not been tested for its carcinogenic potential in long-term animal studies. Cysteamine was not mutagenic in the Ames test. It produced a negative response in an in vitro sister chromatid exchange assay in human lymphocytes but a positive response in a similar assay in hamster ovarian cells.

Repeat breeding reproduction studies were conducted in male and female rats. Cysteamine was found to have no effect on fertility and reproductive performance at an oral dose of 75 mg/kg/day (450 mg/m²/day, 0.4 times the recommended human dose based on body surface area). At an oral dose of 375 mg/kg/day (2,250 mg/m²/day, 1.7 times the recommended human dose based on body surface area), it reduced the fertility of the adult rats and the survival of their offspring.

Use In Specific Populations


There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of ophthalmic cysteamine in pregnant women. CYSTARAN should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Teratogenic Effects - Pregnancy Category C

Teratology studies have been performed in rats at oral doses in a range of 37.5 mg/kg/day to 150 mg/kg/day (about 0.2 to 0.7 times the recommended human maintenance dose on a body surface basis) and have revealed cysteamine bitartrate to be teratogenic. Observed teratogenic findings were cleft palate, kyphosis, heart ventricular septal defects, microcephaly, and exencephaly.

Nonteratogenic Effects

Cysteamine was fetotoxic, resulting in intrauterine death and growth retardation in rats at oral doses of 0.2 to 0.7 times the recommended human maintenance dose on a body surface basis.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether oral cysteamine is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the manifested potential of cysteamine for developmental toxicity in suckling rat pups when it was administered to their lactating mothers at an oral dose of 375 mg/kg/day (2,250 mg/m²/day, 1.7 times the recommended human dose based on body surface area), a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother. The incremental increase in systemic cysteamine levels derived from drug applied topically to the eye in patients treated with oral cysteamine is negligible.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of CYSTARAN (cysteamine ophthalmic solution) 0.44% have been established.

Geriatric Use

When the clinical studies with CYSTARAN were conducted, the reduced life expectancy from cystinosis did not make it possible to include patients in the geriatric age range.

Renal Impairment

The effect of renal impairment on the pharmacokinetics of cysteamine following ophthalmic administration of cysteamine ophthalmic solution has not been evaluated because ophthalmic exposure compared to systemic exposure is negligible. The majority of the patients in the ophthalmic clinical studies are assumed to have had some degree of renal impairment due to their underlying systemic disease. The total daily ophthalmic dose is less than 2% of the recommended oral daily dose of cysteamine; thus, the systemic exposure following ophthalmic administration is expected to be negligible compared to oral administration.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 4/3/2017


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