• Cyclosporine;
  • drug-drug interactions;
  • kidney transplantation;
  • mycophenolic acid;
  • pharmacokinetics;
  • sirolimus

The pharmacokinetics of mycophenolic acid (MPA)—the active metabolite of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF)—is significantly influenced by co-medications. The impact of sirolimus on daily MPA exposure, however, has not been investigated so far. As a part of the study aimed at investigating the efficacy of Campath-1H induction therapy in a steroid-free regimen in kidney transplantation, MPA plasma levels were serially measured in 21 patients treated with low-dose sirolimus (SRL) or low-dose CsA both in addition to low-dose MMF over 12 months post-operatively. Full pharmacokinetic profiles were compared at month 6 and 12 post-surgery. Mean dose-adjusted MPA trough levels were 4.4-fold higher in patients on combined SRL and MMF than in those given CsA and MMF. Pharmacokinetic studies demonstrated that mean MPA Cmax and Tmax were comparable in the two groups, while mean MPA AUC0-12 was higher in SRL than CsA treated patients. The pharmacokinetic profile of SRL- but not of CsA-group showed a second peak consistent with the enterohepatic recirculation of MPA. These findings suggest that SRL and CsA have different effects on MPA metabolism and/or excretion eventually affecting its immunosuppressive property and/or toxicity. CsA, but not SRL, inhibits MPA enterohepatic recirculation, reducing MPA daily exposure.