Is simplification of immunosuppressive medication a way to promote medication adherence of kidney transplant recipients? Findings from a randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

After kidney transplantation, a strict immunosuppressive medication regimen is necessary for graft survival. However, nonadherence to medication has been shown to occur early after transplantation and to increase over time. Weaning the recipient off dual therapy onto monotherapy in order to reduce immunosuppressive burden may also be a way to promote adherence, although little is known about the impact of such a regimen on fear of rejection. We performed a cohort study on medication adherence and fear of rejection in a randomized, investigator-driven, open-label, single-centre pilot study. Recipients were randomized at 6-months post-transplant to either continue Tacrolimus and Mycophenolate mofetil (TAC/MMF) or to taper MMF at 6 months and discontinue MMF at 9 months (TAC monotherapy). Recipients completed questionnaires about medication adherence and fear of rejection at 6 and 12-months post-transplantation. Medication adherence was significantly higher in the TAC monotherapy group compared to dual TAC/MMF therapy group (χ2 (1) = 4.582; P = 0.032). We found no difference in fear of rejection between the two groups of recipients (P = 0.887). Simplification of the medication regimen is a potential tool for increasing adherence in clinical practice (Netherlands Trial Register – NL4672).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1703-1711
Number of pages9
JournalTransplant International
Volume34
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

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