Generic name: Cyciosporine.

Sandimmune is an immunosuppressant. It prevents the body from rejecting foreign material.

Quick Facts About Sandimmune


Used after organ transplant surgery to prevent rejection of transplanted organ by suppressing the body’s immune system. Also used to treat organ rejection in people treated with Imuran, another immunosuppressant. Also prescribed to treat alopecia areata (localized hair loss), aplastic anemia (red and white blood cell deficiency), Crohn’s disease (chronic inflammation of the digestive tract), nephropathy (kidney disease), psoriasis, and dermatomyositis (inflammation of skin and muscles, causing weakness and rash). Used also for bone marrow, pancreas, and lung procedures.

Sandimmune Dosage

Sandimmune is always prescribed with prednisone or another steroid. Take exactly as prescribed, at the same time each day. May take with or without food, but be consistent. May mix liquid form with room-temperature milk, chocolate milk, or orange juice, but use the same liquid each day. Use glass container, not plastic for mixing liquid, and drink as soon as you prepare it. Rinse glass with more liquid and drink to get full dose. Maintain good oral hygiene during Sandimmune therapy. Do not rinse or wash pipette used to transfer Sandimmune liquid unless absolutely necessary. In that case, dry thoroughly before using again.

  • Usual adult dose: dose is determined to suit individual needs. 15 milligrams every 4 to 12 hours before the transplant and for 1 to 2 weeks after the transplant is the usual dose range. May be prescribed a maintenance dose of 5 to 10 milligrams per 2.2 pounds of body weight.
  • Usual child dose: determined to suit child’s needs on an individualized basis.
  • Missed dose: take as soon as possible if less than 12 hours have passed. Otherwise, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Sandimmune Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

no specific information available; however, liver and kidney problems may result from overdose. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: excessive growth of gums, high blood pressure, hirsutism (excessive hairiness), kidney damage, tremor. Other common side effects: abdominal discomfort, acne, anemia, blood clots, breast development in males, convulsions, cramps, diarrhea, flushing, headache, liver damage, nausea and vomiting, numbness or tingling, sinus inflammation.

Less common Sandimmune side effects: allergic reactions, anemia, appetite loss, brittle fingernails, confusion, fever, fluid retention, hearing loss, hiccups, high blood sugar, inflamed eyes, muscle pain, peptic ulcer, ringing in the ears, stomach inflammation. Rare side effects: anxiety, blood in the urine, chest pain, constipation, depression, hair breaking, heart attack, itching, joint pain, mouth sores, night sweats, sluggishness, stomach and upper intestinal bleeding, swallowing difficulty, visual disturbance, weakness, weight loss.


Do not use oral contraceptives with Sandimmune unless directed by your doctor. Avoid vaccines during Sandimmune therapy.

Inform your doctor before combining Sandimmune with:

amphotericin B (Fungizone I.V.), bromocriptine (Parlodel), calcium blockers such as Calan and Cardizem, carbamazepine (Tegretol), cimetidine (Tagamet), danazol (Danocrine), diclofenac (Voltaren), digoxin (Lanoxin or Lanoxicaps), erythromycin (E.E.S. or Erythrocin), fluconazole (Diflucan), gentamicin (Garamycin), itraconazole (Sportanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), lovastatin (Mevacor), melphalan (Alkeran), methylprednisolone (Medrol or Solu-Medrol), metodopramide (Reglan), phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), potassium-sparing diuretics such as Midamor and Aldactone, prednisolone (Hydeltra), ranitidine (Zantac), rifampin (Rifadin or Rimactane), tobramycin (Nebcin), trimethoprim with sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim or Septra), vancomycin (Vancocin).

No known food/other substance interactions.

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Appears in breast milk; could affect a nursing infant.

No special precautions apply to seniors.

Follow doctor’s instructions carefully for children.

  • Doctor will monitor levels of Sandimmune to prevent toxicity due to overdosing or organ rejection due to underdosing.
  • Oral Sandimmune therapy may last indefinitely after surgery.
  • At increased risk for infection and malignancies, including skin cancer and lymph system cancer.
  • High doses of Sandimmune may result in liver and kidney damage. Doctor may allow your body to reject a transplanted organ rather than give high doses of Sandimmune.
  • Risk of convulsions is increased if taking large doses of Methylprednisolone (Medrol or Solu-Medrol).

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Sandimmune side effects, please contact your healthcare provider