Mycophenolic acid in kidney transplant patients with diabetes mellitus: Does the formulation matter?

Paul Bolin, Reginald Gohh, Raja Kandaswamy, Faud S. Shihab, Anne Wiland, Fatemeh Akhlaghi, Keith Melancon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Diabetes mellitus is frequent in kidney transplant recipients and is commonly associated with gastrointestinal (GI) complications. Delayed gastric emptying affects 30% to 50% of patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes and can influence oral drug absorption. Time-to-peak concentration of mycophenolic acid (MPA) from mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is longer in diabetic kidney transplant patients than patients without diabetes. By retaining gut contents in the stomach for longer, this could increase local GI toxicity in diabetic recipients due to an extended duration of exposure to MPA in the stomach. The enteric-coated mycophenolate sodium (EC-MPS) formulation delays the release of MPA until pH is higher than 5.5, such that absorption takes place more distally compared with MMF. Patient-reported outcomes data have been used to assess the effect of conversion to EC-MPS in maintenance kidney transplant patients with diabetes who were experiencing MMF-related GI symptoms. Results indicated that conversion leads to improved GI symptom burden despite higher MPA exposure under the EC-MPS regimen. Improved GI tolerance using EC-MPS has permitted maintenance of optimal MPA exposure in nondiabetic populations. Comparative trials to evaluate the GI symptom burden and maximum achieved MPA dosing using the EC-MPS and MMF formulations in de novo and maintenance diabetic kidney transplant recipients are merited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-123
Number of pages7
JournalTransplantation Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
PB, RG, RK, FSS and KM have received speakers' honoraria from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. PB, RG, RK and FSS have received research grants, and FA has received investigator-initiated funding, from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. AW is an employee of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.


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