Compare Sandimmune vs. Rapamune

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

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Sandimmune (cyclosporine)

Prescription only

Rapamune (sirolimus)

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.

Rapamune (sirolimus) is a reliable medicine that prevents rejection of an organ transplant but requires consistent monitoring.

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.
  • Rapamune (sirolimus) is good at preventing organ rejection.
  • Causes less harm to the kidneys with long-term use than similar medicines.
  • Fewer effects on blood sugar and blood pressure compared to other immunosuppressants.
  • Conveniently taken once daily.
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).
  • You’ll need regular blood tests while taking Rapamune (sirolimus), especially when you first start the medicine.
  • Can cause high lipids (fats like cholesterol and triglycerides), especially with lifelong use. You might need to take other medicines to control your lipids while on Rapamune (sirolimus).
  • Raises your risk of infection and certain cancers.
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Used for
  • Prevention of kidney transplant rejection
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
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
17possible side effects
  • Swelling in arms and legs
    54%
  • High triglycerides
    45%
  • High blood pressure
    45%
  • High cholesterol
    43%
  • Higher blood creatinine (marker of poorer kidney function)
    39%
  • Constipation
    36%
  • Headache
    34%
  • Stomach pain
    28%
  • Urinary tract infection
    26%
  • Diarrhea
    25%
  • Nausea
    25%
  • Joint pain
    25%
  • Fever
    23%
  • Low red blood cells
    23%
  • Acne
    22%
  • Low white blood cells
    14%
  • Rash
    10%
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
  • Health problems in people with liver and lung transplants
  • Cancer
    • Taking Rapamune (sirolimus) for a long time
    • Long exposure to sunlight
    • UV light
  • Serious infections
    • Taking other immunosuppressants
    • Age 60 or older
    • Weak immune system
  • High blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides)
    • History of high cholesterol
    • History of high triglycerides
  • Drug interactions
    • Taking multiple medicines
See more detailed risks and warnings