Long-term pharmacokinetics of mycophenolic acid in pediatric renal transplant recipients over 3 years posttransplant

Ther Drug Monit. 2008 Oct;30(5):570-5. doi: 10.1097/FTD.0b013e31818752d9.


Data on exposure to mycophenolic acid (MPA), the active moiety of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), in pediatric renal transplant recipients beyond the first year posttransplant are scarce. The authors therefore analyzed the long-term pharmacokinetics of MPA in 25 pediatric patients treated with 600 mg MMF/m body surface area twice a day in conjunction with cyclosporine A and prednisone. Plasma samples for 12-hour pharmacokinetic profiles were collected on day 7, and after 3, 9, 24, and 36 months posttransplant. Both the actual and the dose-normalized MPA-area under the concentration-time curve (AUC0-12) increased approximately 2-fold between day 7 and month 9 but stabilized thereafter. Both the actual and the dose-normalized MPA-AUC0-12 at months 24 and 36 were comparable to that at month 9. Presuming a therapeutic window of 30-60 mg h/L, 15 (60%) of 25 patients at day 7 had an MPA-AUC0-12 <30 mg h/L, indicating potential underexposure, whereas the proportion of patients with an MPA-AUC0-12 <30 mg h/L between months 3 and 36 was low (5%-17%). These data suggest that the recommended MMF dose of 600 mg/m body surface area twice a day in conjunction with cyclosporine A leads to MPA underexposure early posttransplant in a significant subset of patients, indicating a need for a higher initial MMF dose. Dose-normalized MPA exposure increases in the first 9 months posttransplant, consistent with a reduced MPA metabolism and increased enterohepatic recycling of MPA.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / standards
  • Infant
  • Internationality
  • Kidney Transplantation / physiology*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mycophenolic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Mycophenolic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Mycophenolic Acid / pharmacokinetics*
  • Mycophenolic Acid / standards
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Transplantation / physiology*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Mycophenolic Acid