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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2007 Dec;64(6):772-84. Epub 2007 Jul 27.

Developmental pharmacokinetics of ciclosporin--a population pharmacokinetic study in paediatric renal transplant candidates.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Helsinki, and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.



To use population pharmacokinetic modelling to characterize the influence of developmental and demographic factors on the pharmacokinetic variability of ciclosporin.


Pharmacokinetic modelling was performed in NONMEM using a dataset comprising 162 pretransplant children, aged 0.36-17.5 years. Ciclosporin was given intravenously (3 mg kg(-1)) and orally (10 mg kg(-1)) on separate occasions followed by blood sampling for 24 h.


A three-compartment model with first-order absorption without lag-time best described the pharmacokinetics of ciclosporin. The most important covariate affecting systemic clearance (CL) and distribution volume (V) was body weight (BW; scaled allometrically), responsible for a fourfold difference in uncorrected ciclosporin CL and a sixfold difference in ciclosporin V. The other significant covariates, haematocrit, plasma cholesterol and creatinine, were estimated to explain 20-30% of interindividual differences in CL and V of ciclosporin. No age-related changes in oral bioavailability or in BW-normalized V were seen. The BW-normalized CL (CL/BW) declined with age and prepubertal children (<8 years) had an approximately 25% higher CL/BW than did older children. Normalization of CL for allometric BW (BW(3/4)) removed its relationship to age.


The relationship between CL and allometric BW is consistent with a gradual reduction in relative liver size, until adult values, and a relatively constant CYP3A4 content in the liver from about 6-12 months of age to adulthood. Ciclosporin oral bioavailability, known previously to display large interindividual variability, is not influenced by age. These findings can enable better individualization of ciclosporin dosing in infants, children and adolescents.

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