Cyclosporine: its medical and veterinary use

Ciclosporina Cyclosporine

The immune system is a valuable weapon that our body has at its disposal to protect itself from the invasion of foreign substances that may be dangerous. To do so, it must distinguish between all that is endogenous (belongs to the body) and all that is exogenous or foreign. However, exceptional cases exist where these defenses can be a hindrance rather than an ally. These are certain autoimmune diseases or some cases of organ transplantation. In these cases, it is necessary to block their action to prevent serious complications. Immunosuppressive drugs such as Cyclosporine exist for this purpose.

Cyclosporin’s mechanism of action

Cyclosporine was discovered in 1971 through the study of some fungi and, since 1983, has been used as an immunosuppressant due to its calcineurin inhibitor action. Calcineurin is a protein with phosphatase activity that plays a vital role during an immune response by activating the signaling mechanism of T lymphocytes. Due to this property, Cyclosporine can keep the patient’s immune response under control.

The drug is generally administered orally, via soft capsules, intravenously, or ocularly (ophthalmic use), with the dosage varying according to the treatment goal. As an immunosuppressant, Cyclosporine is recommended for:

  • Organ transplantation to avoid rejection;
  • inflammatory arthropathies, such as rheumatoid arthritis (in this case, it also has a pain-relieving function and helps to decrease swelling of the affected joints);
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE);
  • myositis;
  • nephrotic syndrome;
  • in dermatology for psoriasis and eczema.

The drug is not immediately effective; its use must be prolonged for at least 6 weeks before its benefits can be appreciated; in some cases, the effects may occur after 12 weeks. Finally, Cyclosporine can also be used as an eye drop to counteract dry keratoconjunctivitis.

Cyclosporine: side effects and drug interactions

Given its action as an immunosuppressant, Cyclosporine should be used and prescribed cautiously, carefully assessing the patient’s health condition and predispositions. In fact, Cyclosporine can also cause several side effects, chief among them the onset of high blood pressure, which can occur in the first few weeks of therapy and should be carefully treated.

In addition, Cyclosporine can cause kidney complications due to an increase in creatine in the blood. Dosage reduction is usually used to resolve this complication. In addition to the more severe side effects, taking Cyclosporine can cause digestive system discomfort in the patient: gastrointestinal discomfort, lack of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea or abdominal pain.

Many patients taking Cyclosporine may experience tremors or pain in the lower extremities, which generally improve during therapy. These effects are also typical of other calcineurin inhibitors.

High doses of Cyclosporine, generally used in organ transplant cases, can increase the risk of skin cancer, so it is always important to monitor one’s health during treatment. For example, in case of infection, it is important to discontinue use to let your immune system work undisturbed, especially if taking antibiotics (such as macrolides)

Substances that may cause interaction include grapefruit juice, laxatives, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and potassium-saving drugs.

ciclosporina a scopo veterinario

Can Cyclosporine be used for dogs and cats?

Because of its beneficial effects in dermatology and ophthalmology, Cyclosporine has long been used in veterinary medicine, especially for dogs and cats, similarly to its use in human treatment. The drug is often used in ointment or eye drops form, and since it is hydrophobic, it is dissolved in virgin olive oil or purified corn oil. For this purpose, it is used to treat dry keratoconjunctivitis, chronic superficial keratitis, and atopic blepharoconjunctivitis in dogs and cats, stimulating tear secretion and acting as an anti-inflammatory. Its use has also been approved for horses in immune-mediated keratoconjunctivitis.

The supply of Cyclosporine

Due to its several uses in the medical and veterinary fields, Cyclosporine is a highly demanded drug. If you are looking for Cyclosporine or other APIs for both human and veterinary use, please browse our portfolio and contact us via the form in our contact area. At Flarer, we are able to offer comprehensive support that spans every step of the process: from scouting and auditing to regulation, import licensing, and logistics.

We work with certified manufacturers who strictly adhere to European standards, ensuring the quality and compliance of the active ingredients we supply. Cyclosporine is just one of the many APIs available through our established partnerships

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