Long-term Treatment with Tacrolimus for Kidney Transplantation in People with Lupus Nephritis is Safe and Effective
A new Japanese study finds long-term treatment with Tacrolimus (TAC) is effective and well tolerated by people with lupus nephritis (LN) over 5 years. TAC is an immunosuppressant used in kidney transplantation.
A group of 1,355 people with LN received the drug and were followed for 10 years across 275 sites in Japan. Improvement in renal failure progression ranged from 0.8% (year 1) to 6.6% (year 5) with relapse rates of 7.8% (year 1) and 30.6% (year 5). TAC also significantly improved various biomarkers just 4 weeks after initiation of treatment and were sustained beyond 5 years.
The study also reported some adverse drug reactions with TAC. Pneumonia, bronchitis, herpes zoster, cellulitis (bacterial skin infection), diarrhea and diabetes were most common, and these outcomes primarily happened within the first 28 weeks of treatment.
This study further supports other research which finds TAC effective and safe for LN maintenance therapy. Consult your physician before making changes to your medication. Learn more about how lupus affects the renal system.