Basiliximab: Efficacy and safety evaluation in kidney transplantation

Claudio Ponticelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Basiliximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody directed against the alpha chain of interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R). When administered intravenously at a dosage of 20 mg at the time of transplantation and 4 days later, basiliximab saturates the alpha chain of IL-2R for 4 weeks. Areas covered: This review evaluates the efficacy and safety of basiliximab in kidney transplantation. Randomized controlled trials showed that basiliximab can significantly reduce the incidence of acute rejection without increasing the risk of adverse events. When compared with other antibodies used for induction, basiliximab showed efficacy and safety profiles similar to daclizumab, another monoclonal antibody directed against the alpha chain of IL-2R. In comparison with rabbit anti-thymocyte globulins (rATG), basiliximab showed a similar efficacy. However, in patients at higher risk of rejection, rATG proved to be more effective. No serious safety problems related to basiliximab have been reported. Expert opinion: There is a solid evidence that basiliximab can significantly decrease the risk of acute rejection in kidney transplant recipients without increasing adverse events. This can allow decreased dosage or avoidance of glucocorticoids and reduced dosage of calcineurin inhibitors. On the basis of efficacy, tolerability, ease of administration, and cost effectiveness, basiliximab may be considered the drug of choice for the prophylaxis of acute rejection in standard renal transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-381
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Safety
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Basiliximab
  • Immunosuppression
  • Induction therapy
  • Interleukin-2
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Renal transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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