Cyclosporine Ophthalmic for Sjögren's Syndrome

Examples

Generic Name Brand Name
cyclosporine Restasis

Cyclosporine ophthalmic eyedrops usually are applied twice a day, or as directed by your doctor.

How It Works

Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressive medicine that decreases the action of your body's immune system. Cyclosporine ophthalmic is used in eyedrop form to treat Sjögren's syndrome, a disease that causes dry eyes and mouth.

Why It Is Used

Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the body's moisture-producing glands and may eventually cause problems with the function of vital organs, such as the lungs, bladder, kidneys, and liver. Cyclosporine reduces the immune system's action in the glands that moisten the eyes and may reduce eye inflammation.

How Well It Works

Studies report that cyclosporine ophthalmic may increase tear production, relieve blurred vision, and decrease the use of artificial tears.1

Side Effects

All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.

Here are some important things to think about:

  • Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
  • Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
  • If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:

  • Trouble breathing.
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor if you have:

  • Hives.

Common side effects of this medicine include:

  • Eye discomfort, such as burning, itching, or stinging.
  • Tearing or discharge.
  • Blurry vision.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

Do not apply cyclosporine ophthalmic medicine while wearing contact lenses. After you apply cyclosporine, wait at least 15 minutes, or as long as is advised by your doctor, to insert contact lenses.

To prevent eye infection, use the solution from the single-use vial immediately after you open it, and throw away anything remaining in the vial. Be careful not to contaminate the stopper by touching it to any surface, including your eyes, your hands, the sink, or the countertop.

Taking medicine

Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.

There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.

Advice for women

If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.

Checkups

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF)new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.

References

Citations

  1. Ophthalmic cyclosporine (Restatis) for dry eye disease (2003). Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics, 45(W1157B): 42–43.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Last Revised April 27, 2012

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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