What are Side Effects of Cyclosporin for Eczema?

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There are several choices of treatment to treat eczema. One of them is with a potent immunosuppressant medication such as cyclosporin. Several decades ago, it was originally purposed to prevent organ refusal in transplant patients. But today, sometime it is also for severe case of eczema (atopic eczema). But since it can lead to some side effects, it is not best choice for everyone.

How does this medicine work?

As well we know, atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema. Experts theorize that it occurs due to the wrong respond of immune system and the combination of other factors (such as genetics or even maybe some lifestyle factors).

image_illustration138Unfortunately, there is currently still no answer for the exact cause of atopic dermatitis. However, the body immune‘s wrong respond may play a key role.

While the exact cause of the problem is still debatable, it’s clear that immunological reactions can affect the skin. And these reactions can be regulated by lymphocytes (white blood cells) that enter into the skin through blood flow.

Cyclosporin has several effects on the immune system. In general, it is more likely to dampen down the immune and allergic reactions.

In case of severe atopic eczema, cyclosporin treats the problem by lowering the inflammatory cytokine production (this is a chemical messenger that ‘turn on’ other white cells and control the immune responses). It can work rapidly – it is categorized into group of strong immunosuppressant.

Does it work effectively?

The improvement can be noticed quickly, about 1-2 weeks. The next significant improvement usually appears about 12-16 weeks after you take the treatment.

For many patients, it works effectively in helping to improve the problem. Most of them find that it helps provide an improvement of appearance and reducing the urge of scratching – either for the quality improvement of life of patient as the problem improves.

When does doctor prescribe it for eczema?

As written before, it is usually prescribed for severe cases of eczema (particularly for persistent atopic eczema in severe case). In severe case, the problem may not respond with other conventional topical treatments.

It is powerful in helping to treat the problem, as noted before. It is currently prescribed for short-term treatment (about not more than 2 months). However, sometime it can be used for longer maintenance therapy for patients over 18 years-old (this must be done under supervision by a doctor /dermatologist).

The dose can significantly affect how strong the medicine works. The greater dose, the more powerful it works. But since it also can cause some side effects, the dose should be balanced against the side effects!

The weight of patient can determine the dose of this medicine that should be prescribed by doctor. The dose is usually given in 2 divided doses. Typically, it is prescribed for 2 times a day into a morning & evening dose.

Another issue we need to concern, the flare-up of atopic dermatitis can recur quickly on withdrawal of this medicine. That’s why it is recommended to get the withdrawal gradually by reducing the dose slowly.

Cyclosporin for eczema side effects

This medicine does have some side effects, therefore again the use of it must be with prescription and it is not able to be used for all cases (there are some patients that cannot take it due to certain conditions).

Most side effects of cyclosporin are often dose-related. The greater dose, the more likely patient is to experience the side effects.

Furthermore, the effect of medicine also can vary. There are some people who are more vulnerable than others to develop side effects. While some can take it with mild side effects or even without any side effects after taking it for a year or more, others may develop severe side effects quickly.


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