Conversion from Brand-Name Neoral to the Generic Ciqorin in Stable Renal Transplant Recipients

Monica Cortinovis, Eliana Gotti, Matias Trillini, Fabiola Carrara, Flavio Gaspari, Piero Ruggenenti, Giuseppe Remuzzi, Norberto Perico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aims: Transplant physicians and patients are often reluctant to change to generic versions of immunosuppressive drugs with a narrow therapeutic index, such as ciclosporin (CsA). Thus, in routine follow-up for kidney transplant patients receiving CsA maintenance immunosuppressive therapy in our center, we evaluated the exchangeability of the brand name, Neoral, and the recently approved CsA generic formulation, Ciqorin. Methods: We assessed the complete 12-h CsA pharmacokinetic profile and direct measurement of glomerular filtration rate (mGFR) of 10 patients receiving stable doses of Neoral (138 ± 43 mg/day), at least 6 months after kidney transplantation (Neoral 1). The same evaluations were repeated 10 days after conversion to Ciqorin on a milligram-to-milligram basis and 10 days after reinstituting Neoral (Neoral 2). Results: The mean CsA area under the concentration-time curve increased slightly after switching from Neoral to Ciqorin (p = 0.03), but did not change significantly after Neoral was reintroduced (Neoral 1: 2,234 ± 783, Ciqorin: 2,452 ± 767, Neoral 2: 2,472 ± 784 ng × h/mL). There were no appreciable differences between the 2 CsA formulations in trough levels, maximum concentrations, or time to reach maximum concentrations. In all patients, renal function remained stable throughout the monitoring period (mGFR, Neoral 1: 52.0 ± 16.2; Ciqorin: 55.0 ± 19.0; Neoral 2: 55.8 ± 18.9 mL/min/1.73 m2), as did urinary and hematochemical parameters. Conclusions: In stable kidney transplant recipients, switching from Neoral to Ciqorin resulted in similar pharmacokinetic parameters and did not change renal allograft function, reassuring physicians and patients regarding the exchangeability of reference and generic CsA formulations.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Dec 10 2016


  • Area under the curve
  • Ciclosporin
  • Generic medications
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Renal transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Nephrology
  • Urology
  • Physiology (medical)


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