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Cyclosporine Capsules for Dogs & Cats

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Frequently Asked Questions

Cyclosporine suppresses the immune system and is used to treat immune-mediated diseases, especially those involving the blood or skin. It may also be used in the treatment of anal fistulas in dogs, asthma in cats, and to prevent rejection of transplanted organs.

Cyclosporine is for dogs and cats.

  • Treats a variety of immune system disorders

  • At lower doses may be used to treat atopy (allergies to airborne substances)

  • Available in capsule form for easy administration to your pet

Cyclosporine works by suppressing the action of certain cells in the immune system.

This is a generic medication. Atopica is a brand name of this medication labeled for use in the treatment of atopy.

Cyclosporine is given orally. Give this medication without food. If side effects related to the digestive system are observed, contact your veterinarian.

Cyclosporine is bitter. Do not open the capsules and attempt to give the contents by sprinkling on your pet's food.

Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian. If you have difficulty giving the medication, contact your veterinarian.

This medication should only be given to the pet for whom it was prescribed.

Effects are not immediate, but may take days to weeks to achieve maximum effectiveness. If doses are missed or the entire treatment regimen is not completed, your pet's symptoms could recur or worsen. Consult your veterinarian if your pet's condition does not improve or worsens after beginning treatment with Cyclosporine.

Cyclosporine comes in an oral capsule.

There are two human brands of cyclosporin (Sandimmune and Neoral). They are not the same strength, so one should not be substituted for the other.


Talk to your veterinarian about what type of outcome is expected. Have your veterinarian explain the other treatment options that may be available to treat your pet's condition.

Tell your veterinarian if your pet has liver or kidney disease, or cancer.

Notify your veterinarian of any other medications or supplements your pet is taking. Also if your pet has had any reactions to previous medications.

If you miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to the regular schedule. Do not give two doses at once.

Follow your veterinarian's directions and give the full course of Cyclosporine as prescribed. Consult your veterinarian if the animal's condition does not improve or worsens after beginning treatment with Cyclosporine.

Not for use in animals hypersensitive (allergic) to it or other ingredients.

Use with caution in animals with kidney or liver disease. Do not use in pets with malignant cancer.

Do not use in breeding or pregnant animals unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If the mother is receiving cyclosporine, place the offspring on milk replacer after they have received the colostrum (first milk immediately after birth).

May see loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. More rarely, may see overgrowth of the gums, loss of appetite, muscle cramps, shedding, or increased hair growth. Contact your veterinarian if you notice any of these signs.

At high doses, immune system suppression may occur, making a pet more susceptible to infection. Contact your veterinarian if your pet has a fever (over 103°F), painful urination, tiredness, sneezing, coughing, or runny eyes.

If your pet experiences an allergic reaction to the medication, signs may include facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, or coma. If you observe any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Store at room temperature (70-77°F), in a tight, light resistant, childproof container. Protect from freezing and do not refrigerate. If the oral suspension or noncompounded capsules are stored at less than 68°F, they may gel. If this occurs, allow to warm to room temperature. Shake the oral liquid before using. After opening the oral liquid, use it within 2 months.

If the capsules come in a foil blister pack, do not open the pack until ready to use.

If you know or suspect your pet has had an overdose, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Consult your veterinarian before using Cyclosporine-oral with vitamins and supplements, and many medications including but not limited to allopurinol, digoxin, etoposide, cimetidine, cisapride, amiodarone, androgens (testosterone), azole antifungals (ketoconazole, itraconazole), erythromycin, calcium channel blockers (diltiazem), corticosteroids, metoclopramide, trimethoprim/sulfa, rifampin, methotrexate, phenobarbital, phenytoin, terbinafine, St John's wort, probucol, omeprazole, aminoglycosides (e.g., gentmicin) or amphotericin, amphotericin B, NSAIDS (e.g., Rimadyl, Novox, Deramaxx, Etogesic, Zubrin) or modified live vaccines, since interactions may occur.

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