Cyclosporine Ophthalmic

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T-Cell Immunosuppressive Agent (Ophthalmic Drug)

Prescriber Highlights

  • Ophthalmic ointment for treatment of keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) and other inflammatory ocular diseases 
  • Normal tear production requires weeks of therapy with cyclosporine; however, treatment cessation results in loss of tear production within days
  • Patients that do not respond to approved ophthalmic ointment may benefit from higher concentrations of cyclosporine compounded as an ophthalmic solution

Uses, Indications

  • Approved for treatment of KCS in veterinary patients 
  • Also used to treat other ocular inflammatory diseases (eg, pannus, uveitis, immune-mediated keratitis)

Contraindications, Precautions, Warnings

  • Contraindications
    Patients with a history of hypersensitivity to cyclosporine or any of its components; patients with ocular viral or fungal infections
  • Precautions
    Cyclosporine for humans (0.05% ophthalmic solution) has proven ineffective in dogs with KCS
  • Warnings
    Do not use with a subpalpebral lavage catheter, because the catheter will likely be obstructed

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Side Effects

  • Local irritation, periocular erythema, lid spasm, eye-rubbing, alopecia, epiphora


  • Use Schirmer tear test to assess adequate tear production

Client Information

  • Use q12h
  • Use proper administration techniques to avoid contamination of the medication
  • Keep the cap tightly closed when not in use
  • Wait 5 minutes after applying the medication before applying other eye medications
  • Store the ointment in the refrigerator or at controlled room temperature; keep the solution at room temperature

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Dosage Forms

  • Cyclosporine 0.2% ophthalmic ointment
  • Cyclosporine 1% to 2% ophthalmic solution may be prepared by compounding pharmacies 

Information about this drug was adapted from Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs. Subscribe for further details and more therapeutics.

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