Background: The establishment of a rationale for therapeutic drug monitoring for mycophenolic acid (MPA) and outlining a therapeutic window remains a challenging task in renal transplantation. Furthermore, the pharmacokinetic characteristics of free and total MPA and its glucuronides depend directly or indirectly on graft function and the type of co-administered calcineurin-inhibitor.
Methods: The authors conducted a prospective 12-month multicenter pharmacokinetic study on MPA (MPA, free MPA, free fraction MPA) and its metabolites (MPAG, Acyl-MPAG). The aim of this study was to examine the long-term pharmacokinetic characteristics of MMF when combined with tacrolimus in renal allograft recipients and to identify a possible relationship between these pharmacokinetic parameters and clinical outcome parameters.
Results: They have demonstrated that in renal transplant recipients MPA, free MPA, Acyl-MPAG and MPAG have a particular pharmacokinetic profile when combined with tacrolimus which differs from the combination with CsA. They could not establish a relationship between pre-dose trough concentration of MPA and its metabolites and clinical efficacy endpoints and drug-related adverse events, except for anemia.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that trough plasma concentration monitoring of MPA and its metabolites might not provide a useful clinical tool for guiding MMF dose adjustments to avoid drug-related toxicity. More extensive pharmacokinetic measurements like area under the concentration curves might be necessary for routine therapeutic drug monitoring of MMF.