Journal of Kidney

ISSN - 2472-1220


Factorial Analysis on Individual Variability of Tacrolimus Extended- Release Formulation Pharmacokinetics in the Early Period after Renal Transplantation-Factors for AUTL/AUC Decrease

Yuki Nakamura, Hironori Takeuchi, Hitoshi Iwamoto, Tatsunori Toraishi, Osamu Konno, Yu Kihara, Takayoshi Yokoyama, Toshihiko Hirano, Kiyoshi Okuyama, Hiroaki Katayama, Takashi Kawaguchi, Sakae Nezaki and Shigeyuki Kawachi

Background: We have often observed that the blood trough concentration (Ct) of the once-daily, prolonged-release formulation of tacrolimus (Graceptor®; GRC) becomes unstable, and it is difficult to adjust it in the early period after transplantation. Consequently, we compared the relationships between pharmacokinetic parameters and influencing factors in a group of GRC-treated patients compared with those in a group of Prograf® (PRG)-treated patients. Methods: The study included 8 patients who were newly treated with GRC and 44 patients who were newly treated with PRG. We performed 24-hour therapeutic drug monitoring to compare the relationships between pharmacokinetic parameters, including the area under the curve (AUC), the ratio of the area under the trough level (AUTL)/AUC to indicate the relationships among AUCs, peak concentration (Cp), and Ct. The Cp/Ct values, and dose/body weight (UC/ [D/BW]) values reflected bioavailability and the influencing factors; number of days after transplantation and Dose/BW in the GRC-treated and PRG-treated patients. Results: The Cp/Ct values were higher and the AUTL/AUC and AUC corrected by dose/body weight (AUC/[D/BW]) values were lower with a low number of days after transplantation (particularly within 20 days) and a large dose than a high number of days after transplantation and a small dose in the GRC-treated patients. No such associations were observed in the PRG-treated patients. Conclusion: Care is required when using GRC as there is a tendency for Cp to increase owing to rapid absorption within 20 days after transplantation. Blood levels may be unstable and side effects may be more prevalent in some patients. Moreover, the utilization rate is low and the dose is high in such patients; therefore, unstable gastrointestinal function caused by a variety of factors may play a role in the early period after transplantation.