What is ciclosporin and why is it prescribed?
Ciclosporin is a type of drug known as a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD).
In some conditions, the immune system becomes overactive and can cause problems in the joints and elsewhere in the body.
Ciclosporin regulates the immune system, to limit the progress of autoimmune conditions and potential damage to the joints.
Ciclosporin is prescribed to reduce pain, swelling and stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis. It's also used to treat a number of other autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, including:
Ciclosporin isn't a painkiller and doesn't work immediately. It's a long-term treatment and it may be up to four months before you notice the benefits. It's important to keep taking it (unless you have severe side-effects):
- even if it doesn't seem to be working at first
- even when your symptoms start to improve (to help keep the disease under control).
Ciclosporin may not be suitable for you if:
- you have kidney problems
- you have high blood pressure which isn't controlled by medication
- you have gout or high levels of urate in your blood
- you’ve had cancer.
Your doctor will check your blood pressure and arrange for you to have a blood and urine test before you start treatment. If ciclosporin isn't suitable your doctor will discuss other treatment options with you.