A randomized, prospective, pharmacoeconomic trial of tacrolimus versus cyclosporine in combination with thymoglobulin in renal transplant recipients

Karen L. Hardinger, Daniel L. Bohl, Mark A. Schnitzler, Mark Lockwood, Gregory A. Storch, Daniel C. Brennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background. To date, the clinical trials of tacrolimus (TAC) versus cyclosporine modified (CsA), have not defined which agent is more cost-effective for immunosuppression in renal transplant recipients especially in a quadruple immunosuppressive regimen. Methods. The objective of this randomized, prospective study was to compare the clinical and economic outcomes of TAC versus CsA, in a regimen that consisted of Thymoglobulin induction, an antimetabolite, and prednisone. Between December 2000 and October 2002, 200 patients were enrolled and randomized in a 2:1 fashion (TAC n=134, CsA n=66). Results. At 1 year, acute rejection (4% TAC vs. 6% CsA), patient survival (TAC 99% vs. CsA 100%), and graft survival (95% TAC versus 100% CsA, P=0.059) were similar. Serum creatinine levels were lower in the TAC group compared with the CsA group (1.3±0.3 vs. 1.6±0.7 mg/dL, P=0.03). The incidence of CMV infection was similar between the groups and two patients, both in the TAC arm, developed malignancy. Anti-hypertensive requirement (32% TAC vs. 32% CsA) and the incidence of posttransplant diabetes mellitus (4% TAC vs. 2% CsA) were similar. Pretransplant, fewer TAC patients received dyslipidemia treatment (40% TAC vs. 67% CsA, P=0.0005), while more CsA patients were able to discontinue these medications posttransplant (absolute change 25% TAC vs. 47% CsA). Total 12-month medication costs were similar ($17,723±11,647 TAG vs. $16,515±10,189 CsA). Conclusions. When combined with Thymoglobulin induction, an antimetabolite, and corticosteroids, TAC and CsA are comparable in safety, efficacy, and cost in renal transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 15 2005



  • Cyclosporine
  • Pharmacoeconomic
  • Renal transplant
  • Tacrolimus
  • Thymoglobulin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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