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Pediatr Nephrol. 1997 Oct;11(5):547-51.

Compliance with cyclosporine in adolescent renal transplant recipients.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Inadequate compliance with prescribed medication regimens in children is complex and poorly understood. We measured the extent and pattern of noncompliance with cyclosporine in our adolescent renal transplant population and attempted to determine factors associated with poor compliance. After informed consent, each patient was provided cyclosporine capsules in a medication bottle equipped with an electronic monitoring device (MEMS-4) in the lid. Of the 24 patients eligible, 19 patients (8 female, 11 male) completed the study. Four (21%) patients took less than 80% of the prescribed cyclosporine doses. Five (26%) patients took drug holidays involving > or = consecutive doses. There was a trend towards improved compliance with the evening dose (88.5% vs. 93.4%, P = 0.09) and a downward trend in compliance over the course of the study (P = 0.17). None of the variables tested were found to be associated with noncompliance. Experienced physicians and nurses were able to identify 2 of the 4 individuals who were identified by MEMS as noncompliant. Additionally, 2 of the 4 noncompliance patients demonstrated low cyclosporine trough levels (< 50 ng/ml). Noncompliance with cyclosporine regimens occurs commonly in adolescent renal transplant recipients. Unexpectedly low cyclosporine levels are strongly suggestive of noncompliance, whereas other variables, including prediction by physicians and nurses intimately involved in the care, were not reflective of noncompliance.

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