Intestinal cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) and P-glycoprotein (P-gp) both play a vital role in the metabolism of oral cyclosporine (CsA). We investigated the genetic polymorphisms in CYP3A4(promoter region and exons 5, 7 and 9) and MDR1 (exons 12, 21 and 26) genes and the impact of these polymorphisms on the pharmacokinetics of oral CsA in stable heart transplant patients (n = 14). CYP3A4 polymorphisms were rare in the Asian population and transplant patients. Haplotype analysis revealed 12 haplotypes in the Chinese, eight in the Malays and 10 in the Indians. T-T-T was the most common haplotype in all ethnic groups. The frequency of the homozygous mutant genotype at all three loci (TT-TT-TT) was highest in the Indians (31%) compared to 19% and 15% in the Chinese and Malays, respectively. In heart transplant patients, CsA exposure (AUC(0-4 h), AUC(0-12 h) and C(max)) was high in patients with the T-T-T haplotypes compared to those with C-G-C haplotypes. These findings suggest that haplotypes rather than genotypes influence CsA disposition in transplant patients.