Efficacy and Safety of Conversion from Twice-daily to Once-daily Tacrolimus in a Large Cohort of Stable Kidney Transplant Recipients

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Prolonged-release tacrolimus was developed to provide a more convenient once-daily dosing that could improve patient adherence. We conducted a multicenter, prospective, observational, 12-month study to describe the efficacy, safety and patient preference of conversion from tacrolimus twice-daily to once-daily formulation in stable kidney transplant recipients in routine clinical practice. Conversion was made on a 1 mg: 1 mg basis (1 mg: 1.1 mg in patients with trough levels <6 ng/mL). The study included 1832 patients (mean age (±SD): 50.0 ± 13.4 years; 62.7% male). After conversion, a modest reduction in tacrolimus trough levels, necessitating an increase in daily dose, was observed (mean changes at 12 months of –9.1% and +1.24%, respectively; p < 0.0001). Mean glomerular filtration rate did not change significantly (56.5 ± 19.7 mL/min at conversion vs. 55.7 ± 20.6 mL/min at 12 months). Proteinuria, blood pressure, lipid, hepatic and glucose parameters remained stable. Eight patients (0.4%) had acute rejection and 34 patients (1.85%) discontinued treatment. Almost all patients (99.4%) preferred the once-daily formulation, because of less frequent dosing (66%) and improved adherence (34%). In conclusion, at similar doses to twice-daily tacrolimus, once-daily formulation provided stable renal function, a low acute rejection rate, and good tolerability in stable kidney transplant recipients in the routine clinical practice setting.This study of 1832 renal transplant patients reports that conversion from twice-daily tacrolimus to the once-daily prolonged-release formulation in a routine clinical practice setting results in stable renal function and a low acute rejection rate with a good tolerability profile.

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