TACROLIMUS- tacrolimus capsule, gelatin coated
BionPharma Inc.,


  • Increased risk for developing serious infections and malignancies with tacrolimus or other immunosuppressants that may lead to hospitalization or death. ( 5.1, 5.2)


1.1 Prophylaxis of Organ Rejection in Kidney, Liver, and Heart Transplant

Tacrolimus Capsules is indicated for the prophylaxis of organ rejection, in patients receiving allogeneic kidney transplant [see Clinical Studies ( 14.1)] , liver transplants [see Clinical Studies ( 14.2)] and heart transplant [see Clinical Studies ( 14.3)] , in combination with other immunosuppressants.


2.1 Important Administration Instructions

Tacrolimus Capsules should not be used without supervision by a physician with experience in immunosuppressive therapy.

Tacrolimus capsules and tacrolimus granules are not interchangeable or substitutable for other tacrolimus extended-release products. This is because rate of absorption following the administration of an extended-release tacrolimus product is not equivalent to that of an immediate-release tacrolimus drug product. Under-or overexposure to tacrolimus may result in graft rejection or other serious adverse reactions. Changes between tacrolimus immediate-release and extended-release dosage forms must occur under physician supervision [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.3)]. Intravenous Formulation -Administration Precautions due to Risk of Anaphylaxis

Intravenous use is recommended for patients who cannot tolerate oral formulations, and conversion from intravenous to oral tacrolimus capsules are recommended as soon as oral therapy can be tolerated to minimize the risk of anaphylactic reactions that occurred with injectables containing castor oil derivatives [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.9)].

Oral Formulations (Capsules)

If patients are able to initiate oral therapy, the recommended starting doses should be initiated. Tacrolimus capsules may be taken with or without food. However, since the presence of food affects the bioavailability of tacrolimus capsules, if taken with food, it should be taken consistently the same way each time [see Clinical Pharmacology ( 12.3)].

General Administration Instructions

Patients should not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice in combination with tacrolimus capsules [see Drug Interactions ( 7.2)].

Tacrolimus capsules should not be used simultaneously with cyclosporine. Tacrolimus capsules or cyclosporine should be discontinued at least 24 hours before initiating the other. In the presence of elevated tacrolimus capsules or cyclosporine concentrations, dosing with the other drug usually should be further delayed.

Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is recommended for all patients receiving tacrolimus capsules [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.6)].

2.2 Dosing for Adult Kidney, Liver, or Heart Transplant Patients — Capsules


If patients are able to tolerate oral therapy, the recommended oral starting doses should be initiated. The initial dose of tacrolimus capsules should be administered no sooner than 6 hours after transplantation in the liver and heart transplant patients. In kidney transplant patients, the initial dose of tacrolimus capsules may be administered within 24 hours of transplantation, but should be delayed until renal function has recovered.

The initial oral tacrolimus dosage recommendations for adult patients with kidney, liver, or heart transplants and whole blood trough concentration range are shown in Table 1. Perform therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) to ensure that patients are within the ranges listed in Table 1.

Table 1. Summary of Initial Oral Tacrolimus capsules Dosing Recommendations and Whole Blood Trough Concentration Range in Adults
Patient Population

Tacrolimus Capsules*

Initial Oral Dosage

Whole Blood

Trough Concentration Range

kidney Transplant
With azathioprine 0.2 mg/kg/day, divided in two doses, administered every 12 hours

Month 1-3: 7-20 ng/mL

Month 4-12: 5-15 ng/mL

With MMF/IL-2 receptor antagonist† 0.1 mg/kg/day, divided in two doses, administered every 12 hours Month 1-12: 4-11 ng/mL
Liver Transplant
With corticosteroids only 0.10-0.15 mg/kg/day, divided in two doses, administered every 12 hours Month 1-12: 5-20 ng/mL
Heart Transplant
With azathioprine or MMF 0.075 mg/kg/day, divided in two doses, administered every 12 hours

Month 1-3: 10-20 ng/mL

Month ≥ 4: 5-15 ng/mL

*African-American patients may require higher doses compared to Caucasians (see Table 2)

† In a second smaller trial, the initial dose of tacrolimus was 0.15-0.2 mg/kg/day and observed tacrolimus concentrations were 6-16 ng/mL during month 1-3 and 5-12 ng/mL during month 4-12 [see Clinical Studies ( 14.1)].

Dosing should be titrated based on clinical assessments of rejection and tolerability. Lower tacrolimus capsules dosages than the recommended initial dosage may be sufficient as maintenance therapy. Adjunct therapy with adrenal corticosteroids is recommended early post-transplant.

The data in kidney transplant patients indicate that the African-American patients required a higher dose to attain comparable trough concentrations compared to Caucasian patients ( Table 2) [see Use in Specific Populations ( 8.8) and Clinical Pharmacology ( 12.3)].

Table 2. Comparative Dose and Trough Concentrations Based on Race

Time After Transplant Caucasian n=114 Black n=56




Concentrations (ng/mL)



Trough Concentrations


Day 7 0.18 12.0 0.23 10.9
Month 1 0.17 12.8 0.26 12.9
Month 6 0.14 11.8 0.24 11.5
Month 12 0.13 10.1 0.19 11.0

Intravenous Injection

Tacrolimus injection should be used only as a continuous intravenous infusion and should be discontinued as soon as the patient can tolerate oral administration. The first dose of tacrolimus capsules should be given 8-12 hours after discontinuing the intravenous infusion.

The recommended starting dose of tacrolimus injection is 0.03-0.05 mg/kg/day in kidney and liver transplant and 0.01 mg/kg/day in heart transplant given as a continuous intravenous infusion. Adult patients should receive doses at the lower end of the dosing range. Concomitant adrenal corticosteroid therapy is recommended early post-transplantation.

The whole blood trough concentration range described in Table 1 pertain to oral administration of tacrolimus capsules only; while monitoring tacrolimus concentrations in patients receiving tacrolimus injection as a continuous intravenous infusion may have some utility, the observed concentrations will not represent comparable exposures to those estimated by the trough concentrations observed in patients on oral therapy.

Anaphylactic reactions have occurred with injectables containing castor oil derivatives, such as Tacrolimus injection. Therefore, monitoring for signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis is recommended [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.9)].

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