MHRA reminds clinicians to prescribe tacrolimus by brand

The MHRA has written to healthcare professionals reiterating the need to prescribe oral tacrolimus using the brand name, following a review by the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM).

Switching between tacrolimus products has been associated with graft rejection, which occurs when lymphocytes destroy the transplanted organ (shown here in a kidney allograft) | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Switching between tacrolimus products has been associated with graft rejection, which occurs when lymphocytes destroy the transplanted organ (shown here in a kidney allograft) | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

The safety review concluded that patients stabilised on a particular brand of tacrolimus must always be prescribed and dispensed the same brand to maintain clinical response, particularly as the number of licensed tacrolimus products is increasing.

Action points

Patients should be advised to note the brand name of their usual tacrolimus preparation and to check with their doctor or pharmacist if they receive a different brand or require any further information about the prescription.

Brand switching must be supervised

In some cases, a prescriber may consider a switch of brands to be beneficial; in this event, careful medical supervision and therapeutic monitoring are required to prevent toxic effects and graft rejection.

View tacrolimus drug records

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