Kidneys Home > Neoral Warnings and Precautions
Specific Precautions and Warnings With NeoralSome warnings and precautions to be aware of before taking this medication include the following:
- You must take this medicine under the direction of a healthcare provider who has experience prescribing medications that suppress the immune system and, if you have received an organ transplant, in treating people who have undergone organ transplantation.
- This medication increases your risk for developing cancer, especially skin cancer and lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). Your risk may be even higher if you take other medicines that weaken the immune system or if you have psoriasis and have received certain other treatments before Neoral.
When you are out in the sun, wear sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of at least 30 and protective clothing, such as hats, long pants, and long sleeves. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice any skin changes or develop lumps in your neck, underarms, or groin area.
- Neoral contains a modified form of cyclosporine, which has been slightly altered from regular cyclosporine and is more easily absorbed into the bloodstream. For this reason, Neoral and original cyclosporine are not interchangeable. If you need to switch from one type or brand of cyclosporine to another, only do so under your healthcare provider's supervision. He or she may need to adjust your dosage.
- This medicine can damage your kidneys and liver, especially when used in high doses or for extended periods. Your healthcare provider will monitor you closely for these and other Neoral side effects, such as high blood pressure and high levels of potassium in the blood (hyperkalemia). You may need to have your Neoral blood levels monitored as well, especially if you take this medicine after a kidney transplant or for rheumatoid arthritis.
- Neoral weakens the immune system, which could increase your risk for infections, including potentially serious or life-threatening bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. You may become infected with the BK virus, which is a virus that can damage your kidneys after a kidney transplant and cause your new kidney to fail. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you develop signs of an infection, such as fever, body aches, or chills.
- There have been reports of seizures in people taking Neoral, especially when used in combination with methylprednisolone (A-Methapred®, Depo-Medrol®, Medrol®, Solu-Medrol®). There have also been reports of encephalopathy, a medical term for a disease of the brain that causes altered brain function. Seek immediate medical care if you experience signs of encephalopathy, such as:
- Vision changes
- Muscle weakness
- Problems with movement
- This medicine may increase the amount of uric acid in your blood, which could cause kidney stones or gout (a type of arthritis that affects the joints, especially of the toe).
- Talk to your healthcare provider before getting any type of vaccination or immunization during Neoral treatment. Neoral can make vaccines less effective. Also, people taking Neoral should not receive "live" vaccinations (see Neoral Drug Interactions).
- Neoral may react with a number of other medications (see Neoral Drug Interactions).
- Neoral is a pregnancy Category C medication. This means it may not be safe for use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this drug during pregnancy (see Neoral and Pregnancy).
- Neoral is known to pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Neoral and Breastfeeding).