Mycophenolate mofetil and tacrolimus: new therapeutic options in neuroimmunological diseases

Muscle Nerve. 2006 Sep;34(3):284-91. doi: 10.1002/mus.20543.


Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and tacrolimus are novel immunosuppressive drugs, both first established in transplantation medicine and now used increasingly in neuroimmunological diseases including myasthenia gravis, dysimmune polyneuropathies, and myositis. In myasthenia gravis, the efficacy and safety of MMF has been shown by one open-label trial; one small, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial; and a few retrospective analyses. Similarly, for tacrolimus the greatest experience and evidence for efficacy and safety have been gathered in myasthenia gravis. MMF and tacrolimus have both been used as an alternative treatment for various other autoimmune diseases in which azathioprine or cyclosporine were not sufficiently effective. However, experience with tacrolimus in dysimmune polyneuropathies and myositis is limited. At this time, the available data suggest that MMF and tacrolimus are well suited for long-term immunosuppression in patients with myasthenia gravis. The spectrum of neuroimmunological diseases in which these drugs may be used has not been finally delineated and will require further controlled studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System / drug therapy*
  • Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Mycophenolic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Mycophenolic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Neuroimmunomodulation / drug effects
  • Neuroimmunomodulation / immunology
  • Tacrolimus / therapeutic use*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Mycophenolic Acid
  • Tacrolimus