The objective of the present study was to assess the effect of cyclosporine (CsA) on the pharmacokinetic parameters of mycophenolic acid (MPA), an active mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) metabolite, and to compare with the effect of everolimus (EVR).
Anonymized medical records of 404 kidney recipients were reviewed. The main MPA pharmacokinetic parameters (AUC(0–12) and Cmax) were evaluated.
The patients treated with a higher mean dose of CsA displayed higher MPA AUC(0–12) exposure in the low-dose MMF group (1000 mg/day) (40.50 ± 10.97 vs 28.08 ± 11.03 h mg/L; rs = 0.497, P < 0.05), medium-dose MMF group (2000 mg/day) (43.00 ± 6.27 vs 28.85 ± 11.08 h mg/L; rs = 0.437, P < 0.01), and high-dose MMF group (3000 mg/day) (56.75 ± 16.78 vs 36.20 ± 3.70 h mg/L; rs = 0.608, P < 0.05).
A positive correlation was also observed between the mean CsA dose and the MPA Cmax in the low-dose MMF group (Cmax 22.83 ± 10.82 vs 12.08 ± 5.59 mg/L; rs = 0.507, P < 0.05) and in the medium-dose MMF group (22.77 ± 8.86 vs 13.00 ± 6.82 mg/L; rs = 0.414, P < 0.01).
The comparative analysis between 2 treatment arms (MMF + CsA and MMF + EVR) showed that MPA AUC(0–12) exposure was by 43% higher in the patients treated with a medium dose of MMF and EVR than in the patients treated with a medium dose of MMF and CsA.
The data of the present study suggest a possible CsA versus EVR influence on MMF pharmacokinetics. Study results show that CsA has an impact on the main MPA pharmacokinetic parameters (AUC(0–12) and Cmax) in a CsA dose-related manner, while EVR mildly influence or does not affect MPA pharmacokinetic parameters. Low-dose CsA (lower than 180 mg/day) reduces MPA AUC(0–12) exposure under the therapeutic window and may lead to ineffective therapy, while a high-dose CsA (>240 mg/day) is related to greater than 10 mg/L MPA Cmax and increases the likelihood of adverse events.