Tacrolimus use in adult allogeneic stem cell transplant recipients receiving voriconazole: preemptive dose modification and therapeutic drug monitoring
Concomitant use of tacrolimus and voriconazole, both competitive inhibitors of the CYP450 3A4 isoenzyme, requires tacrolimus dose reduction. On the basis of clinical observations, we developed a preemptive dose-reduction strategy in allograft recipients who received voriconazole to maintain tacrolimus concentrations within a target range. A total of 27 patients started i.v. tacrolimus at an average daily dose of 0.022 mg/kg on day −1 (30% lesser than the usual starting dose). The dose was reduced by 30–40% if the 48-h steady-state concentration was 7–10 ng/ml, and by 40–50% if it was 10–15 ng/ml. No change was made if the concentration was <7 ng/ml. Subsequently, concentrations were generally monitored 2–3 times a week with dose adjustments as necessary. None of the 170 levels (3–12 per patient; median 5) obtained between days +1 and +16 were subtherapeutic (15 ng/ml. Each patient required dose reduction at least twice. The dose had to be increased in only two patients after the initial dose reduction. The median tacrolimus doses in mg/kg declined with time; being 0.022, 0.008 and 0.006 on days 0, 7 and 14, respectively. We conclude that a preemptive dose-reduction strategy is effective in maintaining tacrolimus concentrations within the desired therapeutic range, although serial monitoring remains prudent.