Pharmacokinetic models to assist the prescriber in choosing the best tacrolimus dose

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Abstract

Due to a high inter-individual variability in its pharmacokinetics, tacrolimus dose individualization is mandatory. Even though the expert opinion has defined the area under the curve (AUC) as the best marker to use when performing dose adjustment of tacrolimus, most centres only use trough levels. Multiple targets have been proposed for this parameter and physicians rely largely on their personal experience when making a decision about dose adjustment. Several population pharmacokinetics models (POPPK) allowing AUC determination have been developed, but only a few are actually used in routine practice for dose individualization. These POPPK models can also be used to perform Monte Carlo simulations that help to establish different dosing rules or to anticipate the pharmacokinetics of tacrolimus in particular populations, without conducting clinical trials. Various available applications of POPPK models to assist the prescriber in choosing the best tacrolimus dose are discussed in this paper as well as the difficulties in introducing them into routine therapeutic drug monitoring.

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