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is a commonly-used immunosuppressant in both medical and veterinary
fields. Uses range from treating symptoms of chronic overactive
immune disorders to preventing organ rejection in transplants. The
medication is also showing promise in a number of experimental
studies on conditions ranging from asthma to healing traumatic
While immunosuppression is beneficial at times, it also carries
risk of serious, even potentially fatal, complications. This
medication should never be taken to treat a self-diagnosed illness,
and patients should be carefully monitored for the duration of
Treating Overactive Immune System Disorders
There are quite a few conditions believed to the result of an
overactive immune system, often described as the body attacking
itself. Why it happens is poorly understood, but it often produces
symptoms ranging from unsightly to debilitating, and sometimes
Suppressing the immune system with a medication like Neoral does
not cure the problem, but very often minimizes or eliminates
symptoms in conditions such as:
symptoms of these disorders usually appear only occasionally, and
risk of serious side effects increases with length of treatment,
Neoral is usually given only as-needed during a flare-up rather
than taken long-term as a preventative measure. Neoral should be
taken twice daily at 12 hour intervals:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Pyoderma gangrenosum
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- Autoimmune urticaria (hives)
- Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye syndrome)
- Ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease)
is not unusual for dosage strength to be adjusted during treatment,
or for additional medications to be given to further ease symptoms.
Follow doctor instructions as closely as possible for maximum
Preventing Organ Rejection
If Neoral is given to prevent organ rejection, treatment will begin
shortly prior to surgery in the hospital, and will usually continue
intravenously until patient release. Once home, treatment typically
continues either with tablets or an oral solution:
- Psoriasis - 2.5 to 5 mg daily
- Rheumatoid Arthritis - 1.5 to 5 mg daily
- Pyoderma gangrenosum - 2 to 3 mg daily
- Atopic Dermatitis - 2.5 to 5 mg daily
- Autoimmune urticaria - 1 to 3 mg daily
- Keratoconjunctivitis sicca - 2 drops daily
- Ulcerative colitis - 1 to 4 mg daily
the case of organ transplants treatment typically last several
months, sometimes up to a year. Because the risk of side effects is
significantly increased during longer treatment durations, close
monitoring is strongly recommended.
Warnings for Patients Taking Neoral
There are a number of considerations to be aware of while taking an
immunosuppressant, for both patients and health-care
- 10 to 15 mg daily, split into two doses
- Take each dose as close to 12 hours apart as possible
- Take a missed dose as soon as remembered
side effects with short-term Neoral use are mild; long-term use may
cause more serious issues, such as poor blood clotting. The most
serious concern with any length of treatment is exposure to illness
or infection that the body is unable to fight off while the immune
system is suppressed. See the insert that comes with the product
for a complete list of possible side effects.
- Notify all physicians, dentists, and other practitioners of
Neoral use before undergoing any procedures or taking any
- Dental check-ups should be performed every three months during
treatment to ensure no infections are present.
- Blood tests should be administered every two weeks to monitor
health and ensure the medication is working properly.
- Strictly avoid any other medications, including vaccinations,
supplements and non-prescription drugs, without explicit doctor or
- Try to avoid exposure to anything contagious; even a common
cold can result in serious complications while taking an
- Monitor any wounds closely for signs of infection.
- Seek medical attention quickly if illness or infection does
- Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice; it may make the
medication less effective.
No current Rx required
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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.
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