Pharmacokinetics and Long-Term Safety and Tolerability of Everolimus in Renal Transplant Recipients Converted From Cyclosporine

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Conversion from cyclosporine (CsA) to everolimus (EVR) in kidney transplant recipients receiving mycophenolate sodium (MPS) and corticosteroids has been used to reduce CsA associated toxicities. Nevertheless, exposures produced by the initial EVR dose, the steady state pharmacokinetic and long-term safety and tolerability have not been explored in detail.


Twenty-four stable kidney transplant recipients receiving CSA, MPS, and corticosteroids were converted from CSA to EVR. The initial EVR dose was 3 mg BID. Weekly monitoring of EVR blood concentrations was followed by a full 12 hour pharmacokinetic profile 28 days after conversion. Therapeutic drug monitoring, safety, and tolerability were analyzed during 5 years of follow-up.


The study population was relatively young (mean of 42 years) with a predominance of males (62%) and White (67%) recipients of kidneys from living (54%) or deceased (46%) donors. Mean time of the conversion was 61 months after transplantation. In the first 7 patients, the initial EVR dose of 3 mg BID resulted in mean EVR trough blood concentration of 14.7 ± 3.7 ng/mL at day 7. The initial EVR dose was then reduced to 2 mg BID for the following 17 patients. Four weeks after conversion, mean EVR dose was 1.7 ± 0.5 mg BID (7 patients were receiving 1 mg BID and 17 were receiving 2 mg BID) resulting in mean EVR trough blood concentration of 4.0 ± 1.4 ng/mL. Whereas mean maximum concentration (13.4 ± 2.8 versus 22.9 ± 7.4 ng/mL, P = 0.003) and mean apparent clearance (232 ± 79 versus 366 ± 173 mL/min, P = 0.016) were higher, mean area under the curve (78.2 ± 22.1 versus 102.5 ± 38.5 ng.h/mL, P = 0.067) and mean C0 (3.7 ± 1.3 versus 4.1 ± 1.5 ng/mL, P = 0.852) were no different comparing patients receiving 1 mg and 2 mg EVR BID. Mean inter-subject variability of area under the curve, trough concentration, and maximum concentration was 38%, 36%, and 38%. EVR treatment was discontinued in 29% of patients due to proteinuria (N = 2), pneumonia (N = 2), dyslipidemia (N = 2), and anemia (N = 1) and MPS dose was reduced in 58% of patients.


The initial 3 mg BID dose produced high EVR trough blood concentrations. The 2 mg BID dose appears to be the appropriate initial dose to provide therapeutic concentrations but still requires initial intensive therapeutic monitoring to achieve and maintain blood concentrations within the therapeutic target concentration. The combination of EVR and full dose MPS has limited long-term tolerability and safety.

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