Post-marketing surveillance of the safety and effectiveness of tacrolimus in 3,267 Japanese patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Tsutomu Takeuchi, Shinichi Kawai, Kazuhiko Yamamoto, Masayoshi Harigai, Kota Ishida, Nobuyuki Miyasaka

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives A post-marketing surveillance (PMS) program was implemented to assess the safety and effectiveness of tacrolimus (TAC) in Japanese rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and to identify risk factors related to adverse drug reactions (ADRs). Methods Patients were registered centrally and monitored for all adverse events (AEs) for 24 weeks. Effectiveness was evaluated using the Disease Activity Score 28-CRP (DAS28-CRP). Results Data from 3,172 patients (mean age 62.2 years) were evaluated in the safety analysis. Of the safety population, 78.5 %were female and 25.9 % were in Steinbrocker's functional class 3 or 4. TAC was prescribed as monotherapy in 52.5 % and the most common concomitant disease modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) was methotrexate, used in 28.9 % of the patients. The incidence of AEs, serious AEs (SAEs), ADRs and serious ADRs were 41.2, 6.4, 36.0, and 4.9 %, respectively. The most frequent serious ADR category was infections and infestations. Age ≥ 65 years, concurrent renal dysfunction, and concurrent diabetes mellitus were identified as significant risk factors for ADR. Based on EULAR response criteria, 65.4 % of the patients showed moderate or good response. Conclusions The results demonstrate that TAC is well tolerated by Japanese patients with active RA, including those receiving concomitant methotrexate, in the real world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-16
Number of pages9
JournalModern rheumatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan


  • Effectiveness
  • Post-marketing surveillance
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Safety
  • Tacrolimus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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