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Sunday 01 April 2001

Pharmacokinetics of cyclosporine in heart transplant recipients receiving metabolic inhibitors.

By: Akhlaghi F, Keogh AM, McLachlan AJ, Kaan A.

J Heart Lung Transplant 2001 Apr;20(4):431-8

BACKGROUND: Inhibitors of cyclosporine metabolism are commonly co-administered with cyclosporine in transplant recipients. The aim of this study was to compare cyclosporine pharmacokinetics using the conventional formulation (Sandimmune) and after switching to the microemulsion (Neoral) formulation, in stable heart transplant recipients receiving various cyclosporine metabolic inhibitors. METHODS: Steady-state blood concentration-time profiles of Sandimmune were studied in 47 transplant recipients receiving either cyclosporine alone (Group A, n = 11) or in combination with diltiazem (120 mg/day, Group B, n = 11), ketoconazole (200 mg/day, Group C, n = 13), or both ketoconazole and diltiazem (200 and 120 mg/day, respectively, Group D, n = 12), and restudied 1 week after switching to Neoral. RESULTS: Neoral resulted in more rapid cyclosporine absorption as judged by the shorter absorption half-lives in all groups (p < 0.05). The mean percentage increase in the values of area-under-the-concentration-time curve was 42% and 37.5% higher for Neoral compared with Sandimmune for Groups A and B, respectively, but only 5.4% higher for Group C and 9.5% higher for Group D. The mean morning trough concentration of cyclosporine was not significantly different after administration of Neoral compared with Sandimmune in any of the groups studied (179 vs. 167 microg/liter for Group A; 171 vs. 147 microg/liter for Group B; 189 vs. 194 microg/liter for Group C; and 181 vs 201 microg/liter for Group D). Neoral did not alter serum concentrations of sodium, potassium, creatinine, and urea in any of the study groups. CONCLUSIONS: The faster absorption and improved bioavailability of cyclosporine (around 40%) with Neoral compared with Sandimmune was not seen in patients receiving ketoconazole, where in fact cyclosporine bioavailability was already maximal. Mean morning trough levels of cyclosporine did not reflect the improvement in bioavailability seen in patients switching from Sandimmune to Neoral. Cyclosporine dose adjustment may be needed when switching from Sandimmune to Neoral for patients not receiving sparing agents or who receive diltiazem, but trough levels cannot necessarily be relied upon to determine the degree of adjustment needed. For patientson ketoconazole, the absorption profile is already optimized and no dosage alteration seems necessary.

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