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eISSN: 2329-0358

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An observational study evaluating tacrolimus dose, exposure, and medication adherence after conversion from twice- to once-daily tacrolimus in liver and kidney transplant recipients

Lars Bäckman, Carl-Axel Persson

(Departent of Transplantation, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden)

Ann Transplant 2014; 19:138-144

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.890101


Background: Immunosuppression regimens in transplantation medicine are complex. Drugs with extended release action have simplified medication dosing without affecting efficacy.
Material and Methods: This prospective, observational, multicenter study, conducted in a routine medical practice setting, evaluated changes in tacrolimus daily dose and trough levels and patient-reported medication adherence at day 90 after 1:1 (mg: mg) conversion to once-daily tacrolimus in adult liver and kidney transplant recipients.
Results: Data from 224 recipients of a liver (n=19) or kidney (n=205) transplant, average age 51±14.5 years, were evaluated. The mean change in tacrolimus daily dose was +0.04 mg/day. Dose remained stable after conversion in 62.5%, was lower in 15.6%, and higher in 22% of patients. Trough level after conversion was lower in 62.6% and higher in 36.5%; generally, levels were 12.8% lower than pre-conversion levels. No acute rejection, graft loss, or serious safety events were observed. Two deaths occurred due to myocardial infarction. Conversion helped 19% to less frequently forget medications and 55% reported no difference in remembering to take the once-daily dose after conversion. The change in dosing frequency was identified as “better” for 55%.
Conclusions: Tacrolimus daily dose remained stable while trough levels were significantly lower after conversion to once-daily dosing. Safety and efficacy were maintained; reduced dosing frequency had no apparent influence on patient-reported medication adherence.

This paper has been published under Creative Common Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) allowing to download articles and share them with others as long as they credit the authors and the publisher, but without permission to change them in any way or use them commercially.
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