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Clin Ther. 2003 Jun;25(6):1654-69.

A pharmacokinetic and clinical review of the potential clinical impact of using different formulations of cyclosporin A. Berlin, Germany, November 19, 2001.

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Department of Organ Transplantation, St. James's University Hospital, Leeds, United Kingdom.


A meeting of 14 transplant and pharmacokinetic specialists from Europe and North America was convened in November 2001 to evaluate scientific and clinical data regarding the use of different formulations of cyclosporin A (CsA). The following consensus was achieved. (1) CsA is a critical-dose drug with a narrow therapeutic window. Clinical outcomes after transplantation are affected by the pharmacokinetic properties of CsA, particularly by its bioavailability, and by intrapatient variability in CsA exposure. (2) Standard bioequivalence criteria do not address differences in CsA pharmacokinetics between transplant recipients and healthy volunteers, or between subpopulations of transplant recipients. (3) In some circumstances, currently available formulations of CsA that meet standard bioequivalence criteria are likely to be nonequivalent with respect to pharmacokinetic characteristics. (4) The choice of CsA formulation can affect the short- and long-term clinical outcome. Currently, there is a lack of clinical comparisons between generic CsA formulations and the Neoral formulation (Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, East Hanover, New Jersey). Initial retrospective data from the Collaborative Transplant Study suggest that use of generic CsA formulations may result in reduced graft survival at 1 year. (5) Management of transplant recipients by monitoring Neoral concentrations 2 hours after dosing (C(2)) reduces the incidence and severity of acute rejection compared with monitoring of trough concentrations with no increase in toxicity. C(2) monitoring has been developed based on the pharmacokinetics of Neoral only and has not been evaluated or validated for generic formulations of CsA. (6) The major costs of care after transplantation relate to the management of poor clinical outcomes and toxicity. CsA formulations with different pharmacokinetic properties may be associated with varying clinical outcomes, which would be expected to affect total health care costs. (7) The transplant physician is responsible for selecting immunosuppressive agents and formulations for his or her patients. Any switch between CsA formulations in a particular patient should take place only in a controlled setting with adequate pharmacokinetic monitoring.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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