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Cyclosporine (Ophthalmic)

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Cyclosporine (Ophthalmic)

US Brand Names

• Restasis


Cyclosporine ((SYE-kloe-spor-een)) belongs to a class of medicines known as immunosuppressants. It is used to increase tear production in people who have a certain eye condition.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:


    • Ophthalmic emulsion (eye drops) (U.S.)

Special Considerations

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking cyclosporine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For cyclosporine eye drops, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to cyclosporine. Also tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.


Cyclosporine eye drops have not been studied in pregnant women. However, studies in animals have shown that cyclosporine eye drops can cause problems with the fetus. Before taking this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. Cyclosporine eye drops should only be given to pregnant women if needed.


It is not known whether cyclosporine eye drops pass into the breast milk. Most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts. It may be necessary for you to take another medicine or to stop breast feeding during treatment. Be sure you discuss the risks and benefits of this medicine with your doctor.


Cyclosporine eye drops have only been studied in children age 16 and older. Discuss with your child's doctor the good that this medicine may do as well as the risks of using it.

Older adults

This medicine has been tested and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your doctor is you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter) (OTC) medicine.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of cyclosporine eye drops. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

    • Current eye infections or

    • Hypersensitivity to cyclosporine or any ingredients in cyclosporine-This medicine should not be used if you have these conditions.

    • History of herpes infection of your cornea-Caution should be used with this medicine if you have this condition.

    • If you are a contact lens user-Patients with decreased tear production should not wear contacts.



The dose of cyclosporine eye drops will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are taking cyclosporine eye drops.

You should not use cyclosporine eye drops if you have contact lenses in your eyes. Remove your contact lenses before putting the medicine in your eyes. You can reinsert your contacts 15 minutes after you put the medicine in your eyes.

You may use cyclosporine eye drops if you use artificial tears. However, after putting in your artificial tears, you must wait 15 minutes before putting the cyclosporine eye drops into your eyes.

Do not shake the vial. Instead, rotate the vial gently back and forth before use.

Use this medicine only once, then throw away any unused drug.

To use:

    • First, wash your hands. Tilt the head back and pressing your finger gently on the skin just beneath the lower eyelid, pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to make a space. Drop the medicine into this space. Let go of the eyelid and gently close the eyes. Do not blink.

    • If you think you did not get the drop of medicine into your eye properly, use another drop.

    • Immediately after using the eye drops, wash your hands to remove any medicine that may be on them.

    • To keep the medicine as germ free as possible, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface (including the eye).

    • For ophthalmic emulsion (eye drops) dosage form:

      o For dry eyes:

        Adults-Instill one drop into the eye every 12 hours.

        Children-Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose

Using as soon as possible; not using if almost time for next dose; using next dose at regularly scheduled time; not doubling doses


To store this medicine:

    • Keep out of the reach of children.

    • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine that is no longer needed. Ask your health care professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.


It is very important that your doctor check you at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it.

If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This medicine may cause blurred vision or other vision problems. If any of these occur, do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not able to see well.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to this medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

More Common

Burning or other discomfort of the eye.

Less common

Blurred vision; clear or yellow fluid from eye; difficulty reading; eye pain; feeling of having something in the eye; halos around lights; itching skin; redness of the white part of your eyes or inside of your eyelids; sticky or matted eyelashes; stinging; watery eye.

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

March 05, 2004

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