Neoral Side Effects Center

Last updated on RxList: 6/27/2022
Neoral Side Effects Center

What Is Neoral?

Neoral (cyclosporine) is an immunosuppressant used to prevent organ rejection after a kidney, liver, or heart transplant. Neoral is also used to treat severe psoriasis or severe rheumatoid arthritis. Neoral is available in generic form.

What Are Side Effects of Neoral?

Common side effects of Neoral include:

Your risk of infection may be higher while taking Neoral. Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of infection such as fever, sore throat, flu-like symptoms, or painful urination.

Seek medical care or call 911 at once if you have the following serious side effects:

  • Serious eye symptoms such as sudden vision loss, blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights;
  • Serious heart symptoms such as fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeats; fluttering in your chest; shortness of breath; and sudden dizziness, lightheartedness, or passing out;
  • Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, arm or leg weakness, trouble walking, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady, very stiff muscles, high fever, profuse sweating, or tremors.

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

Dosage for Neoral

Dosing of Neroal is individualized based on the type of transplant, and the patient's weight.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Neoral?

Neoral may interact with etoposide, lithium, methotrexate, nefazodone, repaglinide, St. John's wort, ACE inhibitors, heart or blood pressure medication, medicines used to treat ulcerative colitis, other medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection, pain or arthritis medicines, IV antibiotics, antiviral medicines, or cancer medicine. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Neoral During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Neoral should be used only when prescribed during pregnancy. Cyclosporine used during pregnancy has resulted in newborns with problems such as low birth weight and being born prematurely. It has also caused death of the fetus. This medication passes into breast milk. Breastfeeding is not recommended while using this drug.

Additional Information

Our Neoral (cyclosporine) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

SLIDESHOW

Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions See Slideshow
Neoral Consumer Information

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • problems with speech, thought, vision, or muscle movement (may start gradually and get worse quickly);
  • a seizure;
  • severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears;
  • pale skin, easy bruising, unusual bleeding;
  • high potassium level--nausea, weakness, tingly feeling, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, loss of movement;
  • kidney problems--urinating less, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath;
  • liver problems--loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • signs of infection--fever, chills, flu symptoms, mouth sores, skin sores, sore throat, cough, trouble breathing.

Common side effects may include:

  • tremors or shaking;
  • acne, increased growth of facial or body hair;
  • increased blood pressure;
  • nausea, diarrhea; or
  • swollen or painful gums.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

QUESTION

About how much does an adult human brain weigh? See Answer
Neoral Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

Kidney, Liver, And Heart Transplantation

The principal adverse reactions of cyclosporine therapy are renal dysfunction, tremor, hirsutism, hypertension, and gum hyperplasia.

Hypertension

Hypertension, which is usually mild to moderate, may occur in approximately 50% of patients following renal transplantation and in most cardiac transplant patients.

Glomerular Capillary Thrombosis

Glomerular capillary thrombosis has been found in patients treated with cyclosporine and may progress to graft failure. The pathologic changes resembled those seen in the hemolytic-uremic syndrome and included thrombosis of the renal microvasculature, with platelet-fibrin thrombi occluding glomerular capillaries and afferent arterioles, microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and decreased renal function. Similar findings have been observed when other immunosuppressives have been employed post-transplantation.

Hypomagnesemia

Hypomagnesemia has been reported in some, but not all, patients exhibiting convulsions while on cyclosporine therapy. Although magnesium-depletion studies in normal subjects suggest that hypomagnesemia is associated with neurologic disorders, multiple factors, including hypertension, high dose methylprednisolone, hypocholesterolemia, and nephrotoxicity associated with high plasma concentrations of cyclosporine appear to be related to the neurological manifestations of cyclosporine toxicity.

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Effect Of Drugs And Other Agents On Cyclosporine Pharmacokinetics And/Or Safety

All of the individual drugs cited below are well substantiated to interact with cyclosporine. In addition, concomitant use of NSAIDs with cyclosporine, particularly in the setting of dehydration, may potentiate renal dysfunction. Caution should be exercised when using other drugs which are known to impair renal function (see WARNINGS, Nephrotoxicity).

Drugs That May Potentiate Renal Dysfunction

Antibiotics Antineoplastics Antifungals Antiinflammatory Drugs Gastrointestinal Agents Immunosuppressives Other Drugs
ciprofloxacin amphotericin B amphotericin B azapropazon cimetidine tacrolimus fibric acid derivatives (e.g., bezafibrate, fenofibrate)
gentamicin
tobramycin
trimethoprim with sulfamethoxazole
naproxen
vancomycin
ketoconazole

colchicine diclofenac naproxen

sulindac

ranitidine methotrexate

During the concomitant use of a drug that may exhibit additive or synergistic renal impairment with cyclosporine, close monitoring of renal function (in particular serum creatinine) should be performed. If a significant impairment of renal function occurs, the dosage of the coadministered drug should be reduced or an alternative treatment considered.

Cyclosporine is extensively metabolized by CYP 3A isoenzymes, in particular CYP3A4, and is a substrate of the multidrug efflux transporter P-glycoprotein. Various agents are known to either increase or decrease plasma or whole blood concentrations of cyclosporine usually by inhibition or induction of CYP3A4 or P-glycoprotein transporter or both. Compounds that decrease cyclosporine absorption, such as orlistat, should be avoided. Appropriate Neoral dosage adjustment to achieve the desired cyclosporine concentrations is essential when drugs that significantly alter cyclosporine concentrations are used concomitantly (see Blood Concentration Monitoring).

1. Drugs That Increase Cyclosporine Concentrations

Calcium Channel Blockers Antifungals Antibiotics Glucocorticoids Other Drugs
diltiazem
nicardipine
verapamil
fluconazole
itraconazole
ketoconazole
voriconazole
azithromycin
clarithromycin
erythromycin
quinupristin/ dalfopristin
methylprednisolone

Allopurinol
Amiodarone
Bromocriptine
colchicine

danazol
imatinib
metoclopramide
nefazodone
oral contraceptives

HIV Protease Inhibitors

The HIV protease inhibitors (e.g., indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, and saquinavir) are known to inhibit cytochrome P-450 3A and thus could potentially increase the concentrations of cyclosporine, however no formal studies of the interaction are available. Care should be exercised when these drugs are administered concomitantly.

Grapefruit Juice

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice affect metabolism, increasing blood concentrations of cyclosporine, thus should be avoided.

2. Drugs/Dietary Supplements That Decrease Cyclosporine Concentrations

Antibiotics Anticonvulsants Other Drugs/Dietary Supplements
nafcillin
rifampin
carbamazepine
oxcarbazepine
phenobarbital
phenytoin
bosentan
octreotide
orlistat
sulfinpyrazone
terbinafine
ticlopidine
St. John’s Wort

Bosentan

Coadministration of bosentan (250 to 1000 mg every 12 hours based on tolerability) and cyclosporine (300 mg every 12 hours for 2 days then dosing to achieve a Cmax of 200 to 250 ng/mL) for 7 days in healthy subjects resulted in decreases in the cyclosporine mean dose-normalized AUC, Cmax , and trough concentration of approximately 50%, 30%, and 60%, respectively, compared to when cyclosporine was given alone (see Effect Of Cyclosporine On The Pharmacokinetics And/Or Safety Of Other Drugs Or Agents). Coadministration of cyclosporine with bosentan should be avoided.

Boceprevir

Coadministration of boceprevir (800 mg three times daily for 7 days) and cyclosporine (100 mg single dose) in healthy subjects resulted in increases in the mean AUC and Cmax of cyclosporine approximately 2.7-fold and 2-fold, respectively, compared to when cyclosporine was given alone.

Telaprevir

Coadministration of telaprevir (750 mg every 8 hours for 11 days) with cyclosporine (10 mg on day 8) in healthy subjects resulted in increases in the mean dose-normalized AUC and Cmax of cyclosporine approximately 4.5-fold and 1.3-fold, respectively, compared to when cyclosporine (100 mg single dose) was given alone.

St. John’s Wort

There have been reports of a serious drug interaction between cyclosporine and the herbal dietary supplement St. John’s Wort. This interaction has been reported to produce a marked reduction in the blood concentrations of cyclosporine, resulting in subtherapeutic levels, rejection of transplanted organs, and graft loss.

Rifabutin

Rifabutin is known to increase the metabolism of other drugs metabolized by the cytochrome P-450 system. The interaction between rifabutin and cyclosporine has not been studied. Care should be exercised when these two drugs are administered concomitantly.

Effect Of Cyclosporine On The Pharmacokinetics And/Or Safety Of Other Drugs Or Agents

Cyclosporine is an inhibitor of CYP3A4 and of multiple drug efflux transporters (e.g., P-glycoprotein) and may increase plasma concentrations of comedications that are substrates of CYP3A4, P-glycoprotein or organic anion transporter proteins.

Cyclosporine may reduce the clearance of digoxin, colchicine, prednisolone, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), and, aliskiren, bosentan, dabigatran, repaglinide, NSAIDs, sirolimus, etoposide, and other drugs.

See the full prescribing information of the other drug for further information and specific recommendations. The decision on coadministration of cyclosporine with other drugs or agents should be made by the healthcare provider following the careful assessment of benefits and risks.

Digoxin

Severe digitalis toxicity has been seen within days of starting cyclosporine in several patients taking digoxin. If digoxin is used concurrently with cyclosporine, serum digoxin concentrations should be monitored.

Colchicine

There are reports on the potential of cyclosporine to enhance the toxic effects of colchicine such as myopathy and neuropathy, especially in patients with renal dysfunction. Concomitant administration of cyclosporine and colchicine results in significant increases in colchicine plasma concentrations. If colchicine is used concurrently with cyclosporine, a reduction in the dosage of colchicine is recommended.

HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins)

Literature and postmarketing cases of myotoxicity, including muscle pain and weakness, myositis, and rhabdomyolysis, have been reported with concomitant administration of cyclosporine with lovastatin, simvastatin, atorvastatin, pravastatin, and, rarely fluvastatin. When concurrently administered with cyclosporine, the dosage of these statins should be reduced according to label recommendations. Statin therapy needs to be temporarily withheld or discontinued in patients with signs and symptoms of myopathy or those with risk factors predisposing to severe renal injury, including renal failure, secondary to rhabdomyolysis.

Repaglinide

Cyclosporine may increase the plasma concentrations of repaglinide and thereby increase the risk of hypoglycemia. In 12 healthy male subjects who received two doses of 100 mg cyclosporine capsule orally 12 hours apart with a single dose of 0.25 mg repaglinide tablet (one-half of a 0.5mg tablet) orally 13 hours after the cyclosporine initial dose, the repaglinide mean Cmax and AUC were increased 1.8 fold (range: 0.6 to 3.7 fold) and 2.4 fold (range 1.2 to 5.3 fold), respectively. Close monitoring of blood glucose level is advisable for a patient taking cyclosporine and repaglinide concomitantly.

Ambrisentan

Coadministration of ambrisentan (5 mg daily) and cyclosporine (100 to 150 mg twice daily initially, then dosing to achieve Cmax 150 to 200 ng/mL) for 8 days in healthy subjects resulted in mean increases in ambrisentan AUC and Cmax of approximately 2- fold and 1.5–fold, respectively, compared to ambrisentan alone. When coadministering ambrisentan with cyclosporine, the ambrisentan dose should not be titrated to the recommended maximum daily dose

Anthracycline antibiotics

High doses of cyclosporine (e.g., at starting intravenous dose of 16 mg/kg/day) may increase the exposure to anthracycline antibiotics (e.g., doxorubicin, mitoxantrone, daunorubicin) in cancer patients.

Aliskiren

Cyclosporine alters the pharmacokinetics of aliskiren, a substrate of P-glycoprotein and CYP3A4. In 14 healthy subjects who received concomitantly single doses of cyclosporine (200 mg) and reduced dose aliskiren (75 mg), the mean Cmax of aliskiren was increased by approximately 2.5-fold (90% CI: 1.96 to 3.17) and the mean AUC by approximately 4.3 fold (90% CI: 3.52 to 5.21), compared to when these subjects received aliskiren alone. The concomitant administration of aliskiren with cyclosporine prolonged the median aliskiren elimination half-life (26 hours versus 43 to 45 hours) and the T (0.5 hours versus 1.5 to 2.0 hours). The mean AUC and Cmax of cyclosporine were comparable to reported literature values. Coadministration of cyclosporine and aliskiren in these subjects also resulted in an increase in the number and/or intensity of adverse events, mainly headache, hot flush, nausea, vomiting, and somnolence. The coadministration of cyclosporine with aliskiren is not recommended.

Bosentan

In healthy subjects, coadministration of bosentan and cyclosporine resulted in time-dependent mean increases in dosenormalized

bosentan trough concentrations (i.e., approximately 21-fold on day 1 and 2-fold on day 8 (steady state)) compared to when bosentan was given alone as a single dose on day 1 (see Effect Of Drugs And Other Agents On Cyclosporine Pharmacokinetics And/Or Safety). Coadministration of cyclosporine with bosentan should be avoided.

Dabigatran

The effect of cyclosporine on dabigatran concentrations had not been formally studied. Concomitant administration of dabigatran and cyclosporine may result in increased plasma dabigatran concentrations due to the P-gp inhibitory activity of cyclosporine. Coadministration of cyclosporine with dabigatran should be avoided.

Potassium-Sparing Diuretics

Cyclosporine should not be used with potassium-sparing diuretics because hyperkalemia can occur. Caution is also required when cyclosporine is co-administered with potassium sparing drugs (e.g., angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor antagonists), potassium-containing drugs as well as in patients on a potassium rich diet. Control of potassium levels in these situations is advisable.

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID) Interactions

Clinical status and serum creatinine should be closely monitored when cyclosporine is used with NSAIDs in rheumatoid arthritis patients (see WARNINGS).

Pharmacodynamic interactions have been reported to occur between cyclosporine and both naproxen and sulindac, in that concomitant use is associated with additive decreases in renal function, as determined by 99mTc-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) and (p-aminohippuric acid) PAH clearances. Although concomitant administration of diclofenac does not affect blood concentrations of cyclosporine, it has been associated with approximate doubling of diclofenac blood concentrations and occasional reports of reversible decreases in renal function. Consequently, the dose of diclofenac should be in the lower end of the therapeutic range.

Methotrexate Interaction

Preliminary data indicate that when methotrexate and cyclosporine were coadministered to rheumatoid arthritis patients (N = 20), methotrexate concentrations (AUCs) were increased approximately 30% and the concentrations (AUCs) of its metabolite, 7- hydroxy methotrexate, were decreased by approximately 80%. The clinical significance of this interaction is not known. Cyclosporine concentrations do not appear to have been altered (N = 6).

Sirolimus

Elevations in serum creatinine were observed in studies using sirolimus in combination with full-dose cyclosporine. This effect is often reversible with cyclosporine dose reduction. Simultaneous coadministration of cyclosporine significantly increases blood levels of sirolimus. To minimize increases in sirolimus concentrations, it is recommended that sirolimus be given 4 hours after cyclosporine administration.

Nifedipine

Frequent gingival hyperplasia when nifedipine is given concurrently with cyclosporine has been reported. The concomitant use of nifedipine should be avoided in patients in whom gingival hyperplasia develops as a side effect of cyclosporine.

Methylprednisolone

Convulsions when high dose methylprednisolone is given concurrently with cyclosporine have been reported.

Other Immunosuppressive Drugs and Agents

Psoriasis patients receiving other immunosuppressive agents or radiation therapy (including PUVA and UVB) should not receive concurrent cyclosporine because of the possibility of excessive immunosuppression.

Effect Of Cyclosporine On The Efficacy Of Live Vaccines

During treatment with cyclosporine, vaccination may be less effective. The use of live vaccines should be avoided.

For additional information on Cyclosporine Drug Interactions please contact Novartis Medical Affairs Department at 1-888- NOW-NOVA [1-888-669-6682].

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Neoral (Cyclosporine)

© Neoral Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Neoral Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors