Compare Sandimmune vs. Prograf

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Sandimmune (cyclosporine)

Prescription only

Prograf (tacrolimus)

Prescription only
Suppresses the immune system.

Sandimmune (cyclosporine) is good at preventing rejection of an organ transplant, but it's more difficult to monitor than Neoral/Gengraf (cyclosporine modified) and isn't good for people with kidney problems.

Prevents rejection of a transplanted organ.

Prograf (tacrolimus) is a good medicine that prevents rejection of an organ transplant, but you will need to be on it lifelong.

Upsides
  • Sandimmune (cyclosporine) is good at preventing organ rejection.
  • Can take Sandimmune (cyclosporine) if you’re pregnant.
  • Less effect on blood sugar than other medicines in its class like tacrolimus.
  • Conveniently taken once daily.
  • Prevents your body from rejecting a transplanted organ.
  • Available as an extended-release pill, so it can be taken just once daily.
  • Less cosmetic side-effects than other anti-rejection medicine like cyclosporine.
Downsides
  • You’ll need regular blood tests, especially in the beginning, to make sure Sandimmune (cyclosporine) isn't affecting your body in a bad way.
  • Can cause high blood pressure and kidney damage, especially with lifelong use.
  • You might need to take other medicines to control your blood pressure while on Sandimmune (cyclosporine).
  • Regular blood tests are required for monitoring while on Prograf (tacrolimus).
  • Can cause a lot of side-effects, such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure, mental status changes, and kidney damage, especially with lifelong use.
  • Increases your risk of infection and certain cancers.
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Used for
  • Prevention of heart transplant rejection
  • Prevention of liver transplant rejection
  • Prevention of kidney transplant rejection
  • Lung transplant rejection
  • Bowel transplant rejection
  • Graft-versus-host disease
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Injection
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
17possible side effects
  • High blood pressure
    53%
  • Abnormal kidney function
    38%
  • Tremor
    31%
  • Abnormal hair growth
    28%
  • Headache
    15%
  • Nausea/vomiting
    10%
  • Liver damage
    7%
  • Stomach discomfort
    7%
  • Low white blood cells
    6%
  • Blood cell tumor
    6%
  • Gum swelling
    5%
  • Uncontrolled shaking
    4%
  • Diarrhea
    4%
  • Swelling of breasts
    4%
  • Common cold symptoms
    3%
  • Acne
    2%
  • Burning or tingling in hands, arms, legs, or feet
    2%
See more detailed side effects
13possible side effects
  • High blood pressure
    62%
  • Kidney Function Abnormal
    56%
  • Anemia
    50%
  • Low white blood cells
    48%
  • Viral infection
    32%
  • Diabetes Mellitus
    26%
  • Infection
    24%
  • High blood sugar
    23%
  • High cholesterol
    18%
  • Bronchitis
    17%
  • Urinary Tract Infection
    16%
  • Fluid around the heart
    15%
  • Tremor
    15%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Cancer
    • Taking Sandimmune (cyclosporine) for a long time
    • Prolonged exposure to sunlight
    • UV light
  • Hard-to-predict absorption
  • Kidney damage
    • Taking Sandimmune (cyclosporine) for a long time
    • Taking high doses of Sandimmune (cyclosporine)
    • Poor kidney function
    • Donor age 50 or older
    • Taking other medicines that can damage the kidneys
    • Taking medicines that interact with Sandimmune (cyclosporine)
  • Serious infections
    • Taking other immunosuppressants
    • Age 60 or older
    • Weak immune system
  • High blood pressure
    • High blood pressure
    • Taking other medicines that can raise blood pressure
  • Drug interactions
    • Taking multiple medicines
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Serious infections
    • Taking other immunosuppressant drugs
    • Age 60 or older
    • Weak immune system
  • Cancer
    • Taking Prograf (tacrolimus) for a long time
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart problems
    • Taking drugs that interact with Prograf (tacrolimus)
    • High Prograf (tacrolimus) blood levels
  • Kidney damage
    • Poor kidney function
    • Taking other drugs that can damage the kidneys
    • Taking drugs that interact with Prograf (tacrolimus)
  • Diabetes
    • African-American descent
    • Hispanic descent
  • Increased risk of death in female liver transplant patients taking extended-release Prograf (tacrolimus)
    • Females using Astagraf XL
    • Liver transplantation
See more detailed risks and warnings