Mycophenolic acid and mycophenolic acid glucuronide pharmacokinetics in pediatric liver transplant recipients: effect of cyclosporine and tacrolimus comedication

Ther Drug Monit. 2002 Oct;24(5):598-606. doi: 10.1097/00007691-200210000-00004.


Determinants of the wide interindividual variability of the pharmacokinetics of mycophenolic acid (MPA) in 21 stable pediatric liver transplant recipients were investigated in relation to the kinetics of the drug's major phenolic glucuronide metabolite (MPAG), cyclosporin (CsA), or tacrolimus (Tac) co-medication and liver and renal function. Trough concentrations (C(0) ) most reliably predicted the area under the curve (AUC) of 0-7 hours MPA plasma concentrations (r (2) = 0.650). Co-medication with CsA demanded higher MPA mofetil (MMF) doses to achieve equivalent trough levels than Tac (362 vs. 178 mg per mg/L, P= 0.004). Median MPA C(0) (range) was significantly lower during CsA co-therapy when corrected for MMF dose (2.8 vs. 5.6 mg MPA/L for Tac, P= 0.006). The AUC of MPAG was correspondingly higher during CsA co-medication (229 vs. 94 mg/L/h for Tac, P = 0.012) with the MPA-to-MPAG ratio at C(0) correspondingly lower (0.10 vs. 0.14, respectively, P = 0.04). This suggested contrasting effects of CsA and Tac on MPA glucuronidation or its excretion and enterohepatic recirculation. MPAG AUC was correlated to body weight and creatinine clearance. Children with elevated aspartate transaminase (AST; but with no evidence of rejection on liver biopsy, n = 7) had significantly lower MPA trough levels compared with those in whom AST was normal (0. 77 vs. 1.76 mg/L, P = 0.05), but there was no difference in the MMF dose per body weight. Examination of the MPA profiles in these subjects showed significantly lower MPA concentrations from 120 minutes after dose until the end of the 7-hour profile and suggest an accelerated clearance or decreased enterohepatic recirculation.)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Area Under Curve
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cyclosporine / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Glucuronates / blood*
  • Glucuronides
  • Graft Rejection / blood*
  • Graft Rejection / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Mycophenolic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Mycophenolic Acid / blood*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Tacrolimus / administration & dosage*


  • Glucuronates
  • Glucuronides
  • mycophenolic acid glucuronide
  • Cyclosporine
  • Mycophenolic Acid
  • Tacrolimus