How Does Ophthalmic Cyclosporine Work?

What is ophthalmic cyclosporine and how does it work?

Ophthalmic cyclosporine is an immunomodulating agent used in the treatment of certain inflammatory eye conditions that cause dry eyes. Cyclosporine improves the ability of the eye to produce tears.

Inflammation in the eyes leads to the activation, death and accumulation of lymphocytes in the tear glands, which impacts tear production. Cyclosporine improves the function of the tear glands by inhibiting the activation and death of lymphocytes.

How is ophthalmic cyclosporine used?

Ophthalmic cyclosporine is a solution or emulsion topically administered in the eye to increase tear production in dry eye syndromes, and suppress the immune system to reduce eye inflammation or to prevent transplant rejection. Ophthalmic cyclosporine is used in the following conditions:

  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca: Dryness and inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva due to insufficient tear production.
  • Keratoconjunctivitis: Inflammation of cornea and conjunctiva from:
  • Corneal melting: Thinning of the cornea’s supportive fibrous layer (stroma) and ulceration caused by inflammation due to autoimmune conditions.
  • Prevention of graft rejection: Immune suppression to prevent rejection after transplant of cornea.

What are the side effects of ophthalmic cyclosporine?

Side effects of ophthalmic cyclosporine may include:

  • Eye pain on instillation
  • Ocular burning
  • Conjunctival hyperemia
  • Tearing and discharge
  • Eye pain and itching (pruritus)
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Hypersensitivity reactions such as:
  • Eye swelling
  • Hives (urticaria)
  • Angioedema (swelling in the tissue below the skin or mucous membranes such as facial, oral or pharyngeal edema)
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

What are names of some ophthalmic cyclosporine drugs?

Generic and brand names of ophthalmic cyclosporine include:


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