Effect of Breakfast on the Exposure of the Once-Daily Tacrolimus Formulation in Stable Kidney Transplant Recipients

Frank Stifft*, Nasrullah Undre, J Hooff, Martinus Christiaans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background:The once-daily Tacrolimus formulation (Tac ONCE-DAILY) has to be taken on an empty stomach. This is inconvenient for patients and may hamper compliance. The influence of food intake on the exposure of Tac ONCE-DAILY is unknown in transplant recipients. We compared the pharmacokinetics (PKs) of Tac ONCE-DAILY in stable kidney transplant recipients under fasted and fed conditions.Methods:In an open-label, single-center, cross-over PK study, 27 stable kidney white transplant recipients (17 male, 10 female) treated with Tac ONCE-DAILY under fasted conditions were enrolled. Two 10-point 24-hour blood concentration time profiles [area under the blood concentration time curve from time 0 to 24 hours (AUC(0-24))] were collected under steady state conditions. The primary objective was to investigate the effect of food on the PKs and relative bioavailability of Tac ONCE-DAILY.Results:Twenty-seven stable renal transplant patients provided 1 AUC(0-24) under fasted and fed conditions, respectively. AUC(0-24), C-24, and Cmax, were lower in the fed state and Tmax was 1 hour postponed. The 90% confidence interval ratio (fed: fasted) for AUC(0-24) was 0.81-0.91 and for C-24 0.82-0.92 (both P <0.001). The majority (60%) had no significant change, but the change in AUC(0-24) ranged from -38% to +29%. One trough level was below the target range after fed intake.Conclusions:When Tac ONCE-DAILY is ingested with standard continental breakfast, AUC(0-24) and C-24 decrease overall, with C-24 in the therapeutic range in almost all patients. The convenient fed intake could promote therapy adherence. Given the possible significant change in exposure, we advise monitoring of the tacrolimus trough level 1 week after fed ingestion of Tac ONCE-DAILY.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-462
JournalTherapeutic Drug Monitoring
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • immunosupression
  • kidney transplantation
  • food interaction
  • pharmacokinetics

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