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Transplantation. 2005 Jul 15;80(1):13-7.

Cyclosporine pharmacokinetics and dosing modifications in human immunodeficiency virus-infected liver and kidney transplant recipients.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.



With advances in antiretroviral therapy, many human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals are living longer and developing end-stage renal or hepatic disease requiring transplantation. Maintaining the viability of the transplant and suppressing HIV replication requires concomitant use of immunosuppressants (e.g., cyclosporine) and antiretrovirals (e.g., protease inhibitors or nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors), which leads to drug interactions. To assist in appropriate clinical management of HIV-infected transplant recipients, the authors describe the pharmacokinetic interactions between cyclosporine and the antiretroviral medications, and required modifications of cyclosporine dosing.


Eighteen HIV-infected subjects with end-stage kidney or liver disease underwent transplantation. Subjects had pharmacokinetic studies before transplantation and for up to 2 years posttransplantation (at weeks 2-4, 12, 28, 52, and 104). Protease inhibitors, nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, and cyclosporine concentrations were measured by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in plasma and whole blood, respectively.


Subjects using protease inhibitors and cyclosporine had a threefold increase in cyclosporine area under the curve (4,190+/-2,180-11,900+/-1,600 ng*hr/mL, P<0.01), necessitating an 85% reduction in cyclosporine dose over a 2-year period (1.3+/-1.5-0.2+/-0.0 mg/kg/dose), leading to a progressive increase in oral cyclosporine bioavailability (R=0.92, P<0.02). Subjects on nonnucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors showed minimal interactions with cyclosporine, and subjects on both HIV treatments had intermediate responses.


HIV-infected transplant recipients on protease inhibitors require markedly lower doses of cyclosporine, with continued lowering of the cyclosporine dose over time and ongoing cyclosporine trough monitoring because of progressively increasing cyclosporine bioavailability. Medication changes must be carefully managed to avoid insufficient immunosuppression or toxicity resulting from drug interactions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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