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02 January 2015 : Original article  

Delayed Bottom-Up and Amended Simple Method of Dosing with Once-Daily Tacrolimus Application to Achieve Stable Trough Levels in Liver Transplantation

Andreas A. SchnitzbauerABCDEF, Ceylan AyikABDF, Frank UlrichAD, Wolf O. BechsteinAD, Christian MönchABCDEF

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.891411

Ann Transplant 2015; 20:1-6

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Tacrolimus once-daily formulation (TacOD) was introduced as an alternative to twice-daily formulations de novo. Dosing recommendations range between 0.1 to 0.2 mg/kg BW/d.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Amended dosing with a simple bottom-up de novo algorithm is presented. Primary outcome measure was feasibility of establishing adequate target trough levels and avoidance of over-immunosuppression, with adequate safety and efficacy after liver transplantation (LT).

RESULTS: TacOD was given to 101 patients. Standard steroid-free immunosuppression consisted of MMF 2 g/d, basiliximab 20 mg on day 0 and 4, and delayed bottom-up IS with TacOD starting with 1 mg/d and doubling the dosage every day until target trough levels of 5 to 8 ng/ml were reached. By day 7 after LT, all except 3 patients had received TacOD. The earliest time point of introduction was day 2. A median of 9 mg/d (range: 0 to 25 mg/d) of TacOD were necessary to establish the trough levels by day 10, which was then 5.4 ng/ml (range: 1.5 to 20 ng/ml). Incidence of adverse events (AE), in particular neurological AEs (n=3), were low. Efficacy failure (acute rejection) was low (4.9%). Renal function was stable and did not deteriorate under CNI treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of bottom-up, amended, and simple dosing of TacOD in LT. The algorithm is feasible, safe, and efficient, avoiding trough level peaks and top-down strategies.

Keywords: Immunosuppression, Liver Transplantation, Tacrolimus

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Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358
Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358