Safety and efficacy of perioperative sublingual tacrolimus in pancreas transplant compared with oral tacrolimus

Neha Patel*, Caroline Perez, David J. Taber, Vishal Kalbavi, Haley Gonzales, Vinyak Rohan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: Early posttransplant, the administration of oral or enteral medications in pancreas transplant is challenging because of the management of postoperative ileus and gastroparesis. The use of sublingual tacrolimus may offer a promising alternative. The objective of this study was to compare the pharmacokinetics and perioperative outcomes between oral and sublingual tacrolimus in pancreas transplant. Materials and Methods: This was a single-center, retrospective study of pancreas transplants between January 1, 2011, and July 1, 2018. We transitioned our tacrolimus protocol from oral to sublingual dosing in pancreas transplant patients beginning January 1, 2017. Results: This analysis included 54 pancreas transplant recipients, with 17 patients on sublingual tacrolimus matched to 37 patients on oral tacrolimus. Within the sublingual group, it took a mean of 3.2 days to achieve a therapeutic tacrolimus trough level (≥8 ng/mL) compared with a mean of 3.8 days in the oral group (P = .175). There was no difference in the incidence of hyperkalemia and supratherapeutic tacrolimus levels between groups. The conversion factor from sublingual to oral in this patient population was 0.67, which was different than what has been reported in other populations. Clinical outcomes were similar between groups. Conclusions: Sublingual tacrolimus use in pancreas transplant patients appears to be a safe and effective strategy to avoid oral or intravenous therapy in the perioperative period and may reduce the time to achieve therapeutic levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-595
Number of pages4
JournalExperimental and Clinical Transplantation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Clinical outcomes
  • Enteral administration
  • Methods of dose administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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