INTRODUCTION: Several clinical studies using tacrolimus revealed reasonable therapeutic mechanisms and efficacy in patients with myasthenia gravis (MG). However, long-period studies in a large number of patients with MG are limited: therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic efficacies and safety of tacrolimus in patients with MG during a 12-month follow-up period.
METHODS: Tacrolimus was administered to 150 patients with MG who were recruited based on the inclusion criteria. Fifteen medical centers in Korea participated in this study. The efficacy of tacrolimus was assessed using MG composite scales (MGCS) and the prednisolone-sparing effect. And the adverse drug reactions (ADRs) of tacrolimus were monitored in each patient from the beginning of tacrolimus treatment to the end of the follow-up period.
RESULTS: After starting tacrolimus, the 32 patients were affected by ADRs, and consequentially 134 patients of the enrolled patients were followed up for 12months. They showed that the mean prednisolone dosage significantly decreased (6.1+/-7.6mg/day), compared to that in the baseline (11.3+/-9.5mg/day), and MGCS significantly improved after 12months of tacrolimus treatment, compared to that at the baseline.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that tacrolimus would be an effective immunosuppressant as an initial therapeutic agent in patients with MG: in addition, it showed tolerable safety profiles during the 12-month follow-up evaluation.
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