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Voclosporin

Generic Name: voclosporin (VOE kloe SPOR in)
Brand Name: Lupkynis
Dosage Forms: oral capsule (7.9 mg)

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Feb 1, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is voclosporin?

Voclosporin is used together with other medicines to treat kidney problems (active lupus nephritis) in adults with system lupus erythematous (SLE).

Voclosporin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Warnings

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using. Many drugs can interact, and some drugs should not be used together.

Taking voclosporin may increase your risk of certain cancers such as skin cancer or lymphoma.

Voclosporin affects your immune system. You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. Call your doctor if you have a fever, chills, sweating, cough, skin sores, muscle aches, or other flu-like symptoms.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use voclosporin if you are allergic to it.

Many drugs can interact and cause dangerous effects. Some drugs should not be used together with voclosporin. Your doctor may change your treatment plan if you also use:

When taking voclosporin with other medicine: To make sure all medicines are safe for you, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • heart rhythm problems;

  • long QT syndrome (in you or a family member);

  • an electrolyte imbalance (such as low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood);

  • high blood pressure; or

  • liver or kidney disease.

Taking voclosporin may increase your risk of certain cancers such as skin cancer or lymphoma. Ask your doctor about your specific risk.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Voclosporin contains alcohol and should not be used during pregnancy. However, having untreated active lupus nephritis during pregnancy may cause complications such eclampsia (dangerously high blood pressure that can lead to medical problems in both mother and baby). The benefit of treating your kidney problems may outweigh any risks to the baby.

Voclosporin is sometimes used in combination with another medicine called mycophenolate mofetil. Using mycophenolate mofetil during pregnancy can cause a miscarriage or birth defects. Both men and women should use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy during and shortly after treatment with mycophenolate mofetil (women for 6 weeks after and men for 90 days after).

Do not breastfeed while using voclosporin, and for at least 7 days after your last dose.

How should I take voclosporin?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Swallow the capsule whole and do not crush, chew, break, or open it. Tell your doctor if you have trouble swallowing a voclosporin capsule whole.

Take voclosporin on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.

Take your doses at regular intervals 12 hours apart. Do not take your doses less than 8 hours apart.

Voclosporin affects your immune system. You may get infections more easily, even serious or fatal infections. You will need frequent medical tests. Your treatment with voclosporin may be delayed or stopped based on the results.

Your blood pressure will also need to be checked often.

Store voclosporin in the original container at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

It is not known if taking voclosporin is safe or effective for longer than 1 year.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if you are more than 4 hours late for the dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include headache, weakness, tremors, vomiting, infections, rash, or fast heartbeats.

What should I avoid while taking voclosporin?

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using voclosporin. The vaccine may not work as well and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), zoster (shingles), and nasal flu (influenza) vaccine.

Voclosporin could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Grapefruit may interact with voclosporin and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products.

Voclosporin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • pain or burning when you urinate;

  • kidney problems--little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath;

  • high blood pressure--severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears;

  • nervous system problems--confusion, vision changes, headache, feeling less alert, tremors, numbness, tingling, seizure;

  • high potassium level--nausea, weakness, tingly feeling, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, loss of movement; or

  • low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin, unusual tiredness, feeling light-headed or short of breath, cold hands and feet.

Common side effects may include:

  • kidney problems;

  • anemia;

  • high blood pressure;

  • stomach pain, heartburn, loss of appetite, diarrhea;

  • tremors;

  • mouth sores;

  • headache, tiredness;

  • painful urination;

  • cough; or

  • hair loss.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Voclosporin dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Lupus Nephritis:

23.7 mg orally twice a day

Comments:
-The use of this drug in combination with cyclophosphamide is not recommended as safety and efficacy have not been established.
-Use this drug in combination with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and corticosteroids.
-Determine an actual baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) prior to initiating treatment.
-Dosage of this drug is based on the patient's eGFR and should be modified accordingly.
-Check blood pressure (BP) at baseline and do not initiate treatment in patients with BP greater than 165/105 mmHg or with hypertensive emergency.
-Treatment discontinuation should be considered if the patient does not experience therapeutic benefit by 24 weeks.
-Safety and efficacy have not been established beyond one year.

Use: In combination with a background immunosuppressive therapy regimen for the treatment of adult patients with active lupus nephritis

What other drugs will affect voclosporin?

Voclosporin can cause a serious heart problem. Your risk may be higher if you also use certain other medicines for infections, asthma, heart problems, high blood pressure, depression, mental illness, cancer, malaria, or HIV.

Many drugs can affect voclosporin, and some drugs should not be used at the same time. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here.

More about voclosporin

Consumer resources

Other brands
Lupkynis

Professional resources

Related treatment guides

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.