Cysteamine works by reducing the amount of cystine (an amino acid) in the body.

Cysteamine is used to treat nephropathic cystinosis (NEF-roe-PATH-ik SIS-tin-OH-sis), a rare genetic condition that causes a build-up of cystine in the kidneys and other organs. Too much cystine can cause kidney failure or other medical problems.

The Cystagon brand of this medicine is for use in adults and children. Procysbi is another brand of cysteamine that is for use in adults and children who are at least 2 years old.

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  • Cystagon, Procysbi
  • More common
    Abdominal or stomach pain
    diarrhea
    drowsiness
    fever
    loss of appetite
    nausea or vomiting
    skin rash
    Less common
    Confusion
    dizziness
    headache
    mental depression
    sore throat
    trembling
    Rare
    Convulsions
    increased thirst
    unusual tiredness or weakness
    Incidence not known
    Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
    blurred or double vision
    bone lesions
    bulging soft spot on head of an infant
    change in the ability to see colors, especially blue or yellow
    chills
    continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
    cough
    eye pain
    hearing loss
    itching
    joint or muscle pain
    loss of appetite
    loss of vision
    pain behind the eyes
    pain in the legs
    pain with eye movement
    red skin lesions, often with a purple center
    red, irritated eyes
    reddish purple lines on the arms, face, legs, trunk, or groin
    severe headache
    sore throat
    sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
    Severity: Minor
    Some of the side effects that can occur with cysteamine may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

    Less common
    Breath odor
    constipation
    hives or welts
    redness of the skin
    unusual drowsiness, dullness, tiredness, weakness, or feeling of sluggishness
    weight loss
  • (cysteamine bitartrate) capsule