Background: Many immunosuppressive drugs are prescribed as twice-daily dosing. A simplified once-daily dosing of immunosuppressive drug regimen may improve medication adherence. We investigated medication adherence of simplified once-daily immunosuppressive regimen consisting of extended-release tacrolimus, sirolimus, and corticosteroids along with the efficacy and safety of this regimen. Methods: This study was a prospective, multicenter, controlled and cohort trial. Stable kidney transplant recipients who had received transplantation at least 3 months before the study enrollment were eligible for the study. Participants were required to fill-out the self-reported immunosuppressant therapy barrier scale (ITBS) questionnaire before and after the conversion. Other clinical laboratory parameters and adverse events were evaluated until 6 months post-conversion. Results: A total of 160 kidney recipients comprised the intention-to-treat population. The mean total ITBS score was 19.5 ± 4.0 at pre-conversion and 6 months after converting, the mean total ITBS score was 16.6 ± 3.6 (p < 0.001). Particularly, the ITBS scores of 4 questions related to the frequency of medication dosing were significantly different between pre-conversion and post-conversion. Only 1 patient (0.62%) was diagnosed as biopsy-confirmed acute rejection in the study period. There was no significant change in the mean estimated glomerular filtration rate after the conversion. Overall 95 patients (59.4%) had an adverse event and 28 patients (17.5%) had a serious adverse event. No graft loss and 1 death were reported. Conclusion: Medication adherence after the conversion to the once-daily immunosuppressive regimen was significantly improved with no additional risks of efficacy failure or adverse events.
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