Background Cyclosporine has been used in the area of rheumatology, and various published articles describe evidence of side effects in short and long term, which have lead to withdrawal of the treatment.
Objectives Evaluate the presence of side effects in 59 patients that received cyclosporine treatment in dosis of 2.5–3 mg/Kg/day.
Methods This is a prospective study which carried out 59 patients that received cyclosporine treatment: 45 females with an average age of 57 years (range 23–80) and 15 males with an average age of 50.6 years (range 31–72) with the follow disease: 41 Rheumatoid Arthritis, 6 Psoriatic Arthritis and tha remainder included sufferers of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Scleroderma, Ankylosing Spondylitis and Cryoglobulinemia. Female patients suffering from the illness for an average of 19.95 years, were treated for a total period of 22.11 months. Male patients suffering from the illness for an average of 8.7 years, were treated for a total period of 19.4 months.
Results Reasosn for treatment withdrawal were: a) increase in levels of creatinine in 27 out of 59 patients causing treatment suspension for 3 patients; b) nausea and vomiting in 8 cases; c) 6 out of 8 patients presenteds hypertension; d) 11 patients suffered from headache and treatment was withdrawn in 4 cases; e) 13 patients showed increase of levels of alkaline phosphatse, 3 of them were under combined methotrexate treatment; f) other causes: diarrhoea (4), dermatitis (1), trombocytopenia (1) and metrorrhagias (1).
Conclusion Cyclosporine is an effective treatment for the rheumatic diseases, neverthless, the side effects have forced us to withdraw treatment for half of patients under the study.
Lynch AR. 2000;43:5344
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