Neoral was instituted in pediatric renal transplant patients with the hypothesis it would have more predictable kinetics than Sandimmun. However, significant questions have arisen concerning potential toxicity and dosing interval related to its rapid absorption with subsequent high initial peak. This is compounded by the fact that children appear to metabolize cyclosporine at a greater rate than adults. This combination of a rapid peak and rapid absorption may then result in lower trough levels at 12 h. We compared the trough cyclosporine levels of nine children who received Neoral with nine who received Sandimmun at the time of initial transplantation. More frequent dosing (every 8 h) was required in the Neoral population compared with the Sandimmun population for the 1st month in order to obtain comparable trough levels. Beyond the initial 4–6 weeks, trough levels were similar for Neoral and Sandimmun. Whereas 1-month creatinine levels and blood pressures were similar, the number of blood pressure medications was significantly higher in the Neoral group. At 5.5 ± 1.1 months’ followup, a single patient in the current Neoral group and in the retrospective Sandimmun group each experienced a single OKT3 allograft-treated rejection. We suggest that the area under the curve is different in Neoral than Sandimmun, and the initial dosing frequency may need to be adjusted accordingly.
- Key words: Pediatric kidney transplantation