Aims: Pharmacokinetic studies of the immunosuppressive compound mycophenolic acid (MPA) have shown a structural decrease in clearance (CL) over time after renal transplantation. The aim of this study was to characterize the time-dependent CL of MPA by means of a population pharmacokinetic meta-analysis, and to test whether it can be described by covariate effects. Methods: One thousand eight hundred and ninety-four MPA concentration-time profiles from 468 renal transplant patients (range 1-9 profiles per patient) were analyzed retrospectively by nonlinear mixed effect modelling. Sampling occasions ranged from day 1-10 years after transplantation. Results: The pharmacokinetics of MPA were described by a two-compartment model with time-lagged first order absorption, and a first-order term for time-dependent CL. The model predicted the mean CL to decrease from 35 l h-1(CV = 44%) in the first week after transplantation to 17 l h-1(CV = 38%) after 6 months. In a covariate model without a term for time-dependent CL, changes during the first 6 months after transplantation in creatinine clearance from 19 to 71 ml min-1, in albumin concentration from 35 to 40 g l-1, in haemoglobin from 9.7 to 12 g dl-1and in cyclosporin predose concentration from 225 to 100 ng ml-1corresponded with a decrease of CL from 32 to 19 l h-1. Creatinine clearance, albumin concentration, haemoglobin and cyclosporin predose concentration explained, respectively, 19%, 12%, 4% and 3% of the within-patient variability in MPA CL. Conclusions: By monitoring creatinine clearance, albumin concentration, haemoglobin and cyclosporin predose concentration, changes in MPA exposure over time can be predicted. Such information can be used to optimize therapy with mycophenolate mofetil.

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British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Hest, R., van Gelder, T., Bouw, R., Goggin, T., Gordon, R., Mamelok, R., & Mathot, R. (2007). Time-dependent clearance of mycophenolic acid in renal transplant recipients. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 63(6), 741–752. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2125.2006.02841.x