How is cyclosporine used to treat psoriasis?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral) is a drug that suppresses the immune system. It is taken as a daily pill. It is used most often for people with widespread or disabling psoriasis who do not get relief with other treatments. Cyclosporine is usually given for 3 months or less, and should not be used for more than a year.

Cyclosporine works quickly against psoriasis and cannot be used long-term. So it is often combined with other psoriasis drugs, such as methotrexate or adalimumab. After several weeks (as the other drug reaches full effect), cyclosporine can be reduced and stopped. But people should not have UV light treatment while taking cyclosporine.

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