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Drugs. 1995 Nov;50(5):924-41.

Cyclosporin. A review of the pharmacokinetic properties, clinical efficacy and tolerability of a microemulsion-based formulation (Neoral).

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  • 1Adis International Limited, Auckland, New Zealand.


The microemulsion-based formulation of cyclosporin (Neoral; referred to as the microemulsion formulation in this review) is a microemulsion preconcentrate which has been developed to overcome problems associated with the poor and unpredictable absorption of the standard oral formulation of this drug. These include marked intra- and interpatient variability in the extent of absorption, a poor correlation between trough blood concentrations of cyclosporin and total systemic exposure, and the need for regular monitoring of blood cyclosporin concentrations. In healthy volunteers and renal or liver transplant recipients, administration of the microemulsion formulation resulted in cyclosporin absorption which was significantly faster, more extensive and more predictable than that seen with the standard oral formulation. Furthermore, measurement of whole-blood trough cyclosporin concentrations provided a better estimate of systemic drug exposure in renal transplant recipients who received the microemulsion formulation than in those who received the standard formulation. Systemic exposure of cyclosporin delivered by the new formulation appears to be relatively unaffected by food intake. Initial data suggest that drug absorption from the microemulsion formulation is enhanced in comparison with that achieved from the standard formulation in liver transplant recipients undergoing biliary diversion or with cholestasis, although absorption from the new formulation does not appear to be completely independent of bile. Preliminary results from other groups that experience cyclosporin malabsorption from the standard formulation (patients with cystic fibrosis or diabetes, and children) are also encouraging. Clinical trials specifically designed to investigate the relative immunosuppressive efficacy of the microemulsion formulation have not been reported; further data are required to fully establish the relationship between the more rapid and extensive absorption of cyclosporin from the microemulsion formulation and the probability of graft rejection or adverse events (including nephrotoxicity and hypertension). However, no statistically significant differences have been noted between the 2 formulations in the incidence of these events in studies to date. The incidence of rejection in new renal or liver transplant recipients treated for a minimum of 3 months was approximately 31 to 50% in those receiving the microemulsion formulation and approximately 24 to 56% in those receiving the standard formulation. Thus, although confirmation of existing efficacy and tolerability data is required, the characteristic pharmacokinetic properties of the microemulsion formulation make it an attractive option for the oral delivery of cyclosporin in transplant recipients, offering more predictable and more extensive drug absorption than the standard formulation. The microemulsion formulation may be of particular benefit in patients who show poor absorption of cyclosporin from the standard oral formulation, such as liver transplant recipients with biliary diversion or cholestasis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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