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What can it do?

Welcome to the beta Arthritis Virtual Assistant. At the moment it can give you general information about your condition and medication, and provide you with useful exercises to help manage your arthritis.

Why do we need your help?

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant has been built to learn and improve with every use. That way, whenever you use it, you’re indirectly helping another person get the answers that they need for their arthritis.

What can you ask?

You'll get the best response if your question relates to a single type of arthritis, and is expressed as clearly and simply as possible. For example, "What are the best exercises for osteoarthritis?" or "What are the side effects of methotrexate?"

Are you sure you want to close your conversation?

Your conversation will not be visible the next time you visit the Arthritis Virtual Assistant. If you want to keep a copy of the advice you've been given, you can print it using the button at the top of the chat window.

Arthritis Virtual Assistant

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant is being developed into a brand new type of tool which will help you to get the answers you need for your type of arthritis.

This automated chat service is designed to provide general information about your condition and ways you can manage it. It’s been developed from over 80 years of our research work and also learns from the experiences of its users. It’s a ‘beta’ version which means it’s still learning from you, and others. It uses artificial intelligence to decide which are the best responses to give you and it will improve each time it’s used. The better the information we can provide then the more people we can help to manage their condition too.

The advice in this service isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice so we’d always recommend speaking to your doctor about your treatment. When you use the Arthritis Virtual Assistant, you’ll be asked for your first name and the type of arthritis you have, there’s no need to tell us anything more personal than that.

By using the Arthritis Virtual Assistant you confirm that you understand and accept the terms of use and consent to how we will use the information you provide.

Helpline 0800 5200 520 More information

Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes.
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> > > > What are the possible risks and side-effects of ciclosporin?

What are the possible risks and side-effects of ciclosporin?

Possible side-effects of ciclosporin include a rise in blood pressure and effects on your kidneys. Ciclosporin can sometimes cause increased levels of lipids (e.g. cholesterol) in the blood.

You'll have regular blood tests and your blood pressure will also need to be checked frequently while you're on ciclosporin. You may be asked to keep a record of your blood test results in a booklet, and you should take it with you when you visit your GP or the hospital. You must not take ciclosporin unless you're having regular checks.

There are different brands of ciclosporin available and, although the drug itself is the same in all the brands, it may be absorbed differently. Your doctor will try to keep you on the same brand if possible. If it's necessary to change to another brand your doctor may advise more frequent checks to make sure the levels of drug in your blood remain the same.

To improve side-effects you may be advised to reduce the dose of ciclosporin.

You should tell your doctor or rheumatology nurse specialist if you develop any of the following after starting ciclosporin:

  • nausea (feeling sick)
  • diarrhoea
  • headache
  • gum overgrowth
  • tiredness
  • excess hair growth
  • any other new symptoms or anything else that concerns you.

You should stop ciclosporin and see your doctor immediately if any of these symptoms are severe.

You should also see your doctor if you develop chickenpox or shingles or come into contact with someone who has chickenpox or shingles. These infections can be severe in people on treatments that affect the immune system such as ciclosporin. You may need antiviral treatment, and your ciclosporin is usually stopped until you're better.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can increase the effects of ciclosporin, which can also increase the risk of side-effects.


0800 5200 520

Our new helpline: Call us for free information, help and advice on your type of arthritis. Open Mon–Fri 9am–8pm.

All calls are recorded for training and quality purposes

Virtual Assistant

Our new Arthritis Virtual Assistant uses artificial intelligence to answer your arthritis related questions 24/7.

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