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Sandimmune and Psoriatic Arthritis

Although it is not approved for psoriatic arthritis, Sandimmune may be given "off-label" for this condition. The drug may slow down the progression of the disease and relieve symptoms; however, it is not a cure. In addition, potentially dangerous side effects are possible with Sandimmune, so talk to your healthcare provider to make sure it is right for you.

What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects people with psoriasis (a skin condition that causes red, irritated, scaly patches of skin). Most people will have psoriasis before they develop psoriatic arthritis. The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis may include:
  • Pain, tenderness, and swelling of the joints
  • Joint stiffness, especially in the morning
  • Fatigue
  • Inflammation in other areas of the body, such as the eyes, kidneys, or lungs.
A variety of treatment options are available for psoriatic arthritis. Treatment may be used to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and maintain joint function. Treatment is also aimed at preventing further joint damage by slowing down or stopping the progression of the disease.

Treating Psoriatic Arthritis With Sandimmune

Sandimmune® (cyclosporine) is one of several medicines used to treat psoriatic arthritis. It is considered a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD). DMARDs are used to relieve the pain, swelling, and stiffness of joints and, unlike other treatments, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), they may slow down disease progression.
It is worth noting that Sandimmune is not officially approved to treat psoriatic arthritis. It is only approved for the prevention and treatment of transplant rejection in people who have received a heart, kidney, or liver transplant. This means that treating psoriatic arthritis with Sandimmune is considered an "off-label" use.
The phrase "off-label" means giving a drug in a way that is different from the uses officially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is also called an unapproved or nonapproved use. It is important to keep in mind that many medicines are used appropriately and safely for off-label purposes.
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