Medicine Services

Cyclosporin for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

This information has been produced to give you details about Cyclosporin and aims to answer any questions that you may have.

Why would you need to take Cyclosporin?Show [+]Hide [-]

Cyclosporin is a powerful drug, which acts by damping down the immune system and therefore controlling the inflammation in your bowel.

It will be prescribed for you either to try and reduce the amount of steroids you might need, or where steroids have not been effective in controlling your symptoms.

How and when to take CyclosporinShow [+]Hide [-]

Cyclosporin is taken in tablet form it should be swallowed whole with water. It comes in 10mg, 25mg, 50mg and 100mg capsules or oral solution. Although it is usually taken in capsule form it can be given as an IV injection if you are admitted to hospital during a ‘flare-up’ and unable to take it by mouth.

Some drugs may alter the way that Cyclosporin works for you (interactions).

Please inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following medication

  • Drugs which increase the levels of Cyclosporin: Allopurinol, Colchine, Danazol, Diltiazem, Doxycycline, Erythromycin, Itraconazole, Ketoconazole, Nicardapine, Omeprazole, Progesterones, Verapamil, Quinupristin, Dalforpristin, Miconazole, Oestrogen’s, Ritchinavir,Metaclopramide, Danazol

Grapefruit/grapefruit juice should not be taken for one hour after taking Cyclosporin.

  • Drugs which decrease the levels of Cyclosporin: Carbemazepine, Phenytoin, Phenobarbitone, Rifampicin, Griseofluvin, Lanreotide, Octreotide
  • Other drugs that interact are: ACE Inhibitors, Amiodarone, Aminoglycosides, Gentamicin, Colchine, Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory, Amphotericin, Ciprofloxacin, Captopril, Potassium supplements, Amiloride, Methotrexate, Nifedipine, Melphalan, Trimethoprim, Doxorubicin, Fenofibrate, Colistin, Prednisolone, St Johns Wort

Cyclosporin may possibly interact with Amiodarone, Azithromycin, Cimetidine, Clarythromycin, Fluconazole, Propafenone, Reboxetine

Live vaccines should also be avoided when taking Cyclosporin and other vaccines may be less effective.

Are there any side effects and what are they?Show [+]Hide [-]

All medications can cause side effects in some people. It is a question of balancing the risk of side effects against the benefits of treatment.

Some of the side effects of Cyclosporin are:

  • Sickness and loss of appetite. This normally settles as you get use to taking the tablets.
  • Blood problems, this is why you have regular blood tests that pick up any problems before they cause you symptoms. If whilst taking Cyclosporin you develop flu like symptoms, a fever, a severe sore throat or mouth or other symptoms of an infection STOP the tablets immediately contact your GP or Consultant. You will then need a blood test to check your White Blood Cell count is OK
  • Kidney problems which can affect how your kidneys work and cause a rise in blood pressure
  • Burning sensation tremor and pins and needles can occur in hands and feet during the first week of treatment but this usually disappears
  • Increase in bodily and facial hair
  • Overgrowth and bleeding from the gums although this usually occurs in patients who have been taking cyclosporin for a long time. It is important to maintain good dental hygiene.

It is not certain if Cyclosporin can cause any problems in pregnancy, if you do become pregnant while taking the drug you should contact your consultant.

The risk of skin cancer may be increased and excess exposure to sunlight should be avoided. Appropriate UVA/UVB protection should be worn.

Why is careful monitoring important?Show [+]Hide [-]

Monitoring the effects of your new treatment is important and we need to check your blood tests and blood pressure:

  • weekly for the first month
  • then two weekly for two months
  • then monthly depending on your treatment.


  • Please inform us if you change address
  • Attend regularly for your blood tests
  • Take you tablets as prescribed
  • Do not increase the dose of Cyclosporin without medical advice
  • Do not give these tablets to anyone else, even if they have similar symptoms.

More informationShow [+]Hide [-]


Freeman Hospital:

  •  Dr N Thompson, Ward 16 office, tel: 0191 213 7209
  • Sister Elaine Stoker, tel: 0191 244 8403 or 0191 223 1208, 8.00am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday


  • Dr J Mansfield or Dr MGunn, Ward 48 office, tel: 0191 282 0135
  • Sister M Robinson, tel: 0191 282 4918 or via Switchboard 0191 233 6161.


You can download and print off a leaflet version of the information on this page.

© Copyright Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 2020 Site by TH_NK