Know the basics
What is cyclosporine (ophthalmic) used for?
Cyclosporine is used to treat dry eyes due to a certain type of eye condition (keratoconjunctivitis sicca). It works by increasing the amount of tears you make. Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressive agent.
Cyclosporine ophthalmic may also be used for other purposes.
How should I take cyclosporine?
Cyclosporine is applied to the affected eye(s) usually twice a day, about 12 hours apart; or as directed by your doctor.
To apply eye drops, wash your hands first. To avoid contamination, be careful not to touch the tip of the vial or let it touch your eye. Before opening the vial, make sure the eye drops are well mixed by turning the vial upside down several times before use. Open the vial right before you are about to use it. The eye drops should have a milky, white appearance.
Tilt your head back, look upward and pull down the lower eyelid to make a pouch. Place the tip of the vial directly over the eye and apply 1 drop. Look downward and gently close your eye for 1 to 2 minutes. Try not to blink and do not rub the eye.
Discard the remaining contents of the opened vial immediately after use. Do not store the opened vial for later use.
If you wear contact lenses, remove them before using this medication and do not replace them until 15 minutes following use of these eye drops.
If you are also using other drops for dry eyes (e.g., artificial tears), wait 15 minutes between use of the different products.
How do I store cyclosporine?
Cyclosporine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store cyclosporine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of cyclosporine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush cyclosporine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Know the precautions & warnings
What should I know before using cyclosporine (ophthalmic)?
Before using Cyclosporine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention other eye drops for dry eye disease.
- if you are using artificial tears, instill them at least 15 minutes before or after you instill cyclosporine eye drops.
- tell your doctor if you have an eye infection, if you have a punctal plug (stopper inserted by a doctor in a tear duct to keep tears in the eye), and if you have or have ever had a herpes infection of the eye.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using cyclosporine eye drops, call your doctor.
- you should know that cyclosporine eye drops should not be instilled while wearing contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, remove them before instilling cyclosporine eye drops and put them back in 15 minutes later. Talk to your doctor about wearing contact lenses if you have dry eye disease.
Is it safe to take cyclosporine (ophthalmic) during pregnancy or breast-feeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk,
- B=No risk in some studies,
- C=There may be some risk,
- D=Positive evidence of risk,
Know the side effects
What are the side effects of cyclosporine (ophthalmic)?
Serious side effects are not expected to occur during treatment with this medication.
Eye burning, redness, tearing, discharge, pain, itching, stinging, or visual blurring may occur.
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Know the interactions
What drugs may interact with cyclosporine (ophthalmic)?
Cyclosporine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
- Topical anti-inflammatory medicines (eg, ketorolac) because they may decrease cyclosporine drops’ effectiveness.
Does food or alcohol interact with cyclosporine (ophthalmic)?
Cyclosporine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with cyclosporine (ophthalmic)?
Cyclosporine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:
- Current eye infections;
- Hypersensitivity to cyclosporine or any ingredients in cyclosporine—This medicine should not be used if you have these conditions.
- History of herpes infection of your cornea—Caution should be used with this medicine if you have this condition.
If you are a contact lens user—Patients with decreased tear production should not wear contacts.
Understand the Dosage
The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.
What is the dose of Cyclosporine for an adult?
Usual Adult Dose for Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca
1 drop instilled in each eye twice daily (approximately every 12 hours).
What is the dose of Cyclosporine for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is cyclosporine available?
Cyclosporine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
Emulsion, Ophthalmic: 0.05%.
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of cyclosporine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Cyclosporine. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/cyclosporine.html. Accessed July 16, 2016.
Cyclosporine. http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/cyclosporine- ophthalmic-route/description/drg-20063370. Accessed July 16, 2016.
Cyclosporine Ophthalmic. http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-74922/cyclosporine- ophthalmic/details. Accessed July 16, 2016.
Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017