Sandimmun Soft Gelatin Capsules 25mg
Soft Gelatin Capsules 25 mg
Soft Gelatin Capsules # 50 mg
Soft Gelatin Capsules 100 mg
Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine because it contains important information for you.
- Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
- If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
- This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.
- If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet.
What is in this leaflet
1. What Sandimmun is and what it is used for
2. What you need to know before you take Sandimmun
3. How to take Sandimmun
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Sandimmun
6. Contents of the pack and other information
The name of your medicine is Sandimmun. It contains the active substance ciclosporin. This belongs to a group of medicines known as immunosuppressive agents. These medicines are used to lower the body’s immune reactions.
• If you have had an organ transplant, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation, the
function of Sandimmun is to control your body’s immune system. Sandimmun prevents
rejection of transplanted organs by blocking the development of certain cells which would normally attack the transplanted tissue.
• If you have an autoimmune disease, in
which your body’s immune response attacks your body’s own cells, Sandimmun stops this immune reaction. Such diseases include eye problems which threaten your vision (endogenous uveitis, including Behget’s uveitis), severe cases of certain skin diseases (atopic dermatitis, or eczema and psoriasis), severe rheumatoid arthritis and a kidney disease called nephrotic syndrome.
If you are taking Sandimmun following a transplant it will only be prescribed for you by a doctor with experience in transplants and/or autoimmune diseases.
The advice in this leaflet may vary depending on whether you are taking the medicine for a transplant or for an autoimmune disease.
Follow all your doctor’s instructions carefully. They may differ from the general information contained in this leaflet.
Do not take Sandimmun:
- if you are allergic to ciclosporin or any of the other ingredients of this medicine (listed in section 6).
- with products containing Hypericum perforatum (St John's Wort).
- with products containing dabigatran etexilate (used to avoid blood clots after surgery) or bosentan and aliskiren (used to reduce high blood pressure).
Do not take Sandimmun and tell your doctor if the above applies to you. If you are not sure, talk to your doctor before taking Sandimmun.
Warnings and precautions Before and during treatment with Sandimmun, tell your doctor straight away:
• if you have any signs of infection, such as fever or a sore throat. Sandimmun suppresses the immune system and may also affect your body’s ability to fight against infection.
• if you have liver problems.
• if you have kidney problems. Your doctor will carry out regular blood tests and may change your dose if necessary.
• if you develop high blood pressure. Your doctor will check your blood pressure regularly and may give you a medicine to lower blood pressure if necessary.
• if you have low levels of magnesium in your body. Your doctor may give you magnesium supplements to take, especially just after your operation if you have had a transplant.
• if you have high levels of potassium in your blood.
• if you have gout.
• if you need to have a vaccination.
If any of the above applies to you before or during treatment with Sandimmun, tell your doctor straight away.
Sunlight and sun protection
Sandimmun suppresses your immune system. This increases your risk of developing cancers, particularly of the skin and lymphoid system. You should limit your exposure to sunlight and UV light by:
• Wearing appropriate protective clothing.
• Often applying a sunscreen with a high protection factor.
Talk to your doctor before taking Sandimmun:
• if you have or have had alcohol-related problems.
• if you have epilepsy.
• if you have any liver problems.
• if you are pregnant.
• if you are breast-feeding.
• if this medicine is being prescribed for a child.
If any of the above apply to you (or you are not sure), tell your doctor before taking Sandimmun. This is because this medicine contains alcohol (see section below “Sandimmun contains ethanol").
Monitoring during your treatment with Sandimmun
Your doctor will check:
• the levels of ciclosporin in your blood,
especially if you have had a transplant,
• your blood pressure before the start of your treatment and regularly during treatment,
• how well your liver and kidneys are working,
• your blood lipids (fats).
If you have any questions about how Sandimmun works or why this medicine has been prescribed for you, ask your doctor.
In addition if you are taking Sandimmun for a non-transplant disease (intermediary or posterior uveitis and Behget’s uveitis, atopic dermatitis, severe rheumatoid arthritis or nephrotic syndrome), do not take Sandimmun:
• if you have kidney problems (except for nephrotic syndrome).
• if you have an infection which is not under control with medication.
• if you have any type of cancer.
• if you have high blood pressure (hypertension) which is not under control with medication. If you get high blood pressure during treatment and it cannot be controlled, Sandimmun should be stopped by your doctor.
Do not take Sandimmun if any of the above applies to you. If you are not sure, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Sandimmun.
If you are being treated for Behget's uveitis, your doctor will monitor you particularly carefully if you have neurological symptoms (for example: increased forgetfulness, personality changes noticed over time, psychiatric or mood disorders, burning sensation in limbs, decreased sensation in limbs, tingling sensation in limbs, weakness of limbs, walking disturbances, headache with or without nausea and vomiting, vision disturbances including restricted movement of eyeball).
Your doctor will closely monitor you if you are elderly and are being treated for psoriasis or atopic dermatitis. If you have been prescribed Sandimmun to treat your psoriasis or atopic dermatitis, you must not be exposed to any UVB-rays or phototherapy during treatment.
Children and adolescents
Sandimmun should not be given to children for a non-transplant disease, except for treatment of nephrotic syndrome.
Elderly population (65 years of age and older)
There is limited experience with Sandimmun in elderly patients. Your doctor should monitor how well your kidneys work. If you are over 65 and have psoriasis or atopic dermatitis, you should only be treated with Sandimmun if your condition is particularly severe.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines.
In particular tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the following medicines before or during Sandimmun treatment:
• Medicines that may affect your potassium levels. These include medicines which contain potassium, potassium supplements, water tablets (diuretics) called potassiumsparing diuretics and some medicines which lower your blood pressure.
• Methotrexate. This is used to treat tumours, severe psoriasis and severe rheumatoid arthritis.
• Medicines which may increase or decrease the level of ciclosporin (the active substance of Sandimmun) in your blood. Your doctor might check the level of ciclosporin in your blood when starting or stopping treatment with other medicines.
- Medicines which may increase the level of ciclosporin in your blood include: antibiotics (such as erythromycin or azythromycin), anti-fungals (voriconazole, itraconazole), medicines used for heart problems or high blood pressure (diltiazem, nicardipine, verapamil, amiodarone), metoclopramide (used to stop sickness), oral contraceptives,
danazol (used to treat menstrual problems), medicines used to treat gout (allopurinol), cholic acid and derivatives (used to treat gallstones), protease inhibitors used to treat HIV, imatinib (used to treat leukaemia or tumours), colchicine, telaprevir (used to treat hepatitis C).
- Medicines which may decrease the level of ciclosporin in your blood include: barbiturates (used to help you to sleep), some anti-convulsant medicines (such as carbamazepine or phenytoine), octreotide (used to treat acromegaly or neuroendocrine tumours in the gut), anti-bacterial medicines used to treat tuberculosis, orlistat (used to help weight loss), herbal medicines containing St. John’s wort, ticlopidine (used after a stroke), certain medicines which lower blood pressure (bosentan), and terbinafine (an anti-fungal medicine used to treat infections of the toes and nails).
Medicines which may affect your kidneys. These include: anti-bacterial medicines (gentamycin, tobramycin, ciprofloxacin), anti-fungal medicines which contain amphotericin B, medicines used for urinary tract infections which contain trimethoprim, medicines for cancer which contain melphalan, medicines used to
lower the amount of acid in your stomach (acid secretion inhibitors of the H2-receptor antagonist type), tacrolimus, pain killers (non-steroid anti-inflammatory medicines such as diclofenac), fibric acid medicines (used to lower the amount of fat in the blood).
• Nifedipine. This is used to treat high blood pressure and heart pain. You might get swollen gums that might grow over your teeth if you are taking nifedipine during your treatment with ciclosporin.
• Digoxin (used to treat heart problems), medicines which lower cholesterol (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors also called statins), prednisolone, etoposide (used
to treat cancer), repaglinide (oral antidiabetic medicine), immunosuppressives (everolimus, sirolimus), ambrisentan and specific anti-cancer medicines called anthracyclines (such as doxorubicin).
If any of the above applies to you (or you are not sure), talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Sandimmun.
Do not take Sandimmun with grapefruit or grapefruit juice. This is because these can affect how Sandimmun works.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine. Your doctor will
discuss with you the potential risks of taking Sandimmun during pregnancy.
• Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Experience with Sandimmun in pregnancy is limited.
In general, Sandimmun should not be taken during pregnancy. If it is necessary for you to take this medicine, your doctor will discuss with you the benefits and potential risks of taking it during pregnancy.
• Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. Breast-feeding is not recommended during treatment with Sandimmun. This is because ciclosporin, the active substance, passes into breast milk. This may affect your baby.
Driving and using machines
Sandimmun contains alcohol. This may affect your ability to drive and use machines.
Sandimmun contains approximately 12.0 vol. % ethanol (alcohol), which corresponds to up to 500 mg per dose used in transplant patients. This is equivalent to nearly 15 ml beer or 5 ml wine per dose.
Alcohol may be harmful if you have alcohol-related problems, epilepsy, brain injury, liver problems or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It may also be harmful if this medicine is given to children.
If you have an intolerance to some sugars, inform your doctor before taking this medicine.
Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor has told you. Check with your doctor if you are not sure.
Do not take more than the recommended dose.
The dose of this medicine will be carefully adjusted to your individual needs by your doctor. Too much of the medicine can affect your kidneys. You will have regular blood tests and visits to the hospital, especially after a transplant. This will give you the chance to talk to your doctor about your treatment and talk about any problems you may be having.
Your doctor will work out the correct dose of Sandimmun for you. This depends on your body weight and what you are taking the medicine for. Your doctor will also tell you how often to take your medicine.
Organ, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation
- The total dose each day is usually between 2 mg and 15 mg per kilogram body weight. This is divided in two doses.
- Usually, higher doses are used before and just after your transplant. Lower doses are used once your transplanted organ or bone marrow has stabilised.
- Your doctor will adjust your dose to one that is ideal for you. To do this, your doctor may need to do some blood tests.
- The total dose each day is usually between 5 mg and 7 mg per kilogram body weight. This is divided in two doses.
- The total dose each day for adults is usually 5 mg per kilogram body weight. This is divided in two doses. In patients with kidney problems, the first dose taken each day should not be more than 2.5 mg per kilogram body weight.
Severe rheumatoid arthritis
- The total dose each day is usually between 3 mg per kilogram of your body weight and 5 mg per kilogram body weight. This is divided in two doses.
Psoriasis and atopic dermatitis
- The total dose each day is usually between 2.5 mg per kilogram of your body weight and 5 mg per kilogram body weight. This is divided in two doses.
• In children:
- The total dose each day for children is usually 5 mg per kilogram body weight.
This is divided in two doses. In patients with kidney problems, the first dose taken each day should not be more than 2.5 mg per kilogram body weight.
Follow your doctor’s instructions exactly and never change the dose yourself, even if you feel well.
If your doctor switches you from one oral formulation of ciclosporin to another
After you change from one oral formulation of ciclosporin to another:
• Your doctor will monitor you more closely for a short time.
• You may have some side effects. If this happens, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Your dose may need to be changed. Never change your dose yourself, unless a doctor has told you to.
Take Sandimmun at the same time every
day. This is very important if you have had a transplant.
Your daily doses should always be taken in 2 divided doses.
Remove the capsules from the blister.
Swallow the capsules whole with water.
How long to take Sandimmun
Your doctor will tell you how long you need to take Sandimmun for. This depends on whether you are taking it after a transplant or for the treatment of a severe skin condition, rheumatoid arthritis, uveitis or nephrotic syndrome. For severe rash, the treatment usually lasts for 8 weeks.
Keep taking Sandimmun for as long as your doctor tells you.
If you have questions about how long to take Sandimmun, talk to your doctor or your pharmacist.
If you accidentally take too much of your medicine, tell your doctor immediately or go to your nearest hospital emergency unit. You may need medical attention.
If you forget to take Sandimmun
• If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. Flowever, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Then go on as before.
• Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.
If you stop taking Sandimmun
Do not stop taking Sandimmun unless your doctor tells you to.
Keep taking Sandimmun even if you feel well. Stopping your treatment with Sandimmun may increase the risk of your transplanted organ being rejected.
If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Some side effects could be serious Tell your doctor straight away if you notice any of the following serious side effects:
• Like other medicines that act on the immune system, ciclosporin may influence your body’s ability to fight against infection and may cause tumours or other cancers, particularly of the skin. Signs of infection might be fever or sore throat.
• Changes in your sight, loss of coordination, being clumsy, memory loss, difficulty speaking or understanding what others say, and muscle weakness. These might be signs of an infection of the brain called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.
• Brain problems with signs such as seizures, confusion, feeling disorientated, being less responsive, personality changes, feeling agitated, sleeplessness, changes to your sight, blindness, coma, paralysis of part or
If any of these affects you severely, tell your doctor.
Common side effects: These side effects may affect between 1 and 10 in every 100 people.
• Fits (seizures).
• Liver problems.
• High level of sugar in your blood.
• Loss of appetite.
• Nausea (feeling sick), vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhoea.
• Excessive hair growth.
• Acne, hot flushes.
• Low level of white blood cells.
• Feeling numb or tingling.
• Pain in your muscles, muscle spasm.
• Stomach ulcer.
• Gum tissue overgrowing and covering your teeth.
• High level of uric acid or patassium in your blood, low levels of magnesium in your blood.
If any of these affects you severely, tell your doctor.
Uncommon side effects: These side effects may affect between 1 and 10 in every 1,000 people.
• Symptoms of brain disorders including sudden fits, mental confusion, sleeplessness, disorientation, disturbance of vision,
• Swelling at the back of the eye which may be associated with an increase in pressure inside the head and eyesight disturbances.
If this affects you severely, tell your doctor.
Other side effects with frequency not known:
Frequency cannot be estimated from the available data.
• Serious liver problems both with and without yellowing of the eyes or skin, nausea (feeling sick), loss of appetite, dark coloured urine, swelling of the face, feet, hands and/ or the whole body.
• Bleeding underneath the skin or purple skin patched, sudden bleeding with no apparent cause.
• Migraine or severe headache often with feeling and being sick (nausea, vomiting) and being sensitive to light.
• Pain in legs and feet
If any of these affects you severely, tell your doctor.
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet.
Additional side effects in children and adolescents
There are no additional side effects to be expected in children and adolescents compared to adults.
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme (www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard).
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
• Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.
• Do not use this medicine after
the expiry date which is stated on the package.
• Do not store your capsules in a hot place (maximum temperature 30°C).
• Leave your capsules in the foil. Only remove them when it is time to take your medicine.
• When a blister is opened, a characteristic smell is noticeable. This is normal and does not mean that there is anything wrong with the capsules.
• Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste.
Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use.
These measures will help to protect the environment.
What Sandimmun contains
Sandimmun Soft Gelatin Capsules 25 mg
• The active substance is ciclosporin. Each capsule contains 25 mg ciclosporin.
• The other ingredients are:
° Capsule contents: ethanol anhydrous, maize oil interesterified, maize oil refined. ° Capsule shell: Iron oxide red (E172), titanium dioxide (E 171), glycerol 85%, sorbitol syrup special, gelatin.
Sandimmun Soft Gelatin Capsules 50 mg
• The active substance is ciclosporin. Each capsule contains 50 mg ciclosporin.
• The other ingredients are:
° Capsule contents: ethanol anhydrous, maize oil interesterified, maize oil refined.
° Capsule shell: Iron oxide yellow (E172), titanium dioxide (El71), glycerol 85%, sorbitol syrup special, gelatin.
• The active substance is ciclosporin. Each capsule contains 100 mg ciclosporin.
• The other ingredients are:
° Capsule content: ethanol anhydrous, maize oil interesterified, maize oil refined.
° Capsule shell: Iron oxide red (E172), titanium dioxide (E 171), glycerol 85%, sorbitol syrup special, gelatin.
Sandimmun 25 mg soft capsules are pink and oval.
Sandimmun 50 mg soft capsules are corn yellow and oblong.
Sandimmun 100 mg soft capsules are dusty rose and oblong.
Not all pack sizes may be available.
The Marketing Authorisation Holder is Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited, Frimley Business Park, Frimley, Camberley, Surrey GU16 7SR, England.
Sandimmun Capsules are manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited, Wimblehurst Road, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 5AB and Frimley Business Park, Frimley, Camberley, Surrey, GU16 7SR, England.
This medicinal product is authorised in the Member States of the EEA under the following names:
Sandimmun Soft Gelatin Capsules 25 mg Sandimmun Soft Gelatin Capsules 50 mg Sandimmun Soft Gelatin Capsules 100 mg
This leaflet was last revised in August 2015.
If you would like any more information, or would like the leaflet in a different format, please contact Medical Information at Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd, telephone number 01276 698370.
SANDIMMUN is a registered trade mark.
Copyright Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited.