BACKGROUND - The benefit of conversion from mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) to enteric-coated mycophenolate sodium (EC-MPS) in terms of gastrointestinal symptom burden has been evaluated previously using patient-reported outcomes. However, data are lacking concerning the sustained effect of conversion over time, and the potential impact of concomitant calcineurin inhibitor.
METHODS - In this 3-month, prospective, multicenter, longitudinal, open-label trial, MMF-treated renal transplant patients with gastrointestinal symptoms receiving cyclosporine or tacrolimus were converted to equimolar doses of EC-MPS. Change in gastrointestinal symptom burden was evaluated using a validated Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS).
RESULTS - A significant improvement in GSRS score was observed from baseline (2.61, 95% CI 2.54-2.68) to month 1 (1.87, 95% CI 1.81-1.93) after conversion to EC-MPS and was sustained to month 3 (1.81, 95% CI 1.74-188; both P<0.0001 versus baseline). The mean change in overall GSRS score from baseline to month 1 was -0.74 overall (cyclosporine: -0.73 and tacrolimus: -0.74; all P<0.0001 versus baseline), with a slight further improvement (-0.79) at month 3 (cyclosporine: -0.82 and tacrolimus: -0.78; all P<0.0001 versus baseline). A significant improvement in GSRS subscale scores was also observed in the total population regardless of calcineurin inhibitor at month 1, sustained to month 3 (all P<0.0001 versus baseline). The improvement in GSRS score postconversion was similar in African-American and non-African-American patients, and in diabetic and nondiabetic patients.
CONCLUSIONS - This exploratory study in 728 patients demonstrates that following conversion from MMF to EC-MPS, regardless of concomitant calcineurin inhibitor, GSRS is improved and sustained over 3 months.