Cyclosporine vs Tacrolimus

cyclosporine vs tacrolimus

Tacrolimus and cyclosporine are the two most popular immunosuppressants in the modern world.

As one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of Cyclosporine and tacrolimus in China, we have been asked by many customers about the differences between the two APIs.

Therefore, we decided to write an article to list their similarities and differences in detail so any customers interested in this knowledge can check it out.

Both cyclosporine and tacrolimus are immunosuppressive medications used to prevent organ transplant rejection and treat certain autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.

They both work by inhibiting the activity of certain immune cells and reducing inflammation, but they differ in some key ways.

#1. Usages

In terms of their uses, cyclosporine, and tacrolimus are both used to prevent organ transplant rejection and to treat certain autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and Crohn’s disease.

However, tacrolimus is more commonly used to treat skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis and poison ivy, while cyclosporine is more commonly used to treat kidney transplant rejection and certain types of lymphoma.

Cyclosporine was discovered in 1971 and approved as an immunosuppressant drug for organ transplant rejection.

Tacrolimus was not discovered till the 1980s and was not approved as a drug for transplant rejections until 1989.

#2. Metabolism

One of the main differences between cyclosporine and tacrolimus is the way they are metabolized in the body.

Studies conducted by the Nephrology Department, Hospital de Santo António, Porto, Portugal have shown that tacrolimus is less nephrotoxic.

Cyclosporine is metabolized in the liver and is primarily excreted through the kidneys, while tacrolimus is metabolized in the liver and small intestine and is primarily excreted through the feces.

This can affect the way these medications are dosed and monitored in patients.

That’s why tacrolimus showed easier blood pressure control but a higher chance of causing diabetes.

#3. Popularity

Studies have shown that tacrolimus is superior in survival, graft loss, acute rejection, and steroid-resistant rejection in the first year.

Tacrolimus is the most popular for maintenance immunosuppression after liver transplantation.

#4. Side Effects

Another difference between cyclosporine and tacrolimus is their side effect profiles.

Both medications can cause serious side effects, including an increased risk of infection and cancer, but they can also cause different specific side effects.

Cyclosporine can cause kidney damage, high blood pressure, and tremors, while tacrolimus can cause nerve damage, tremors, and skin discoloration.

#5. Raw material cost

For both those pharm-grade APIs approved by Chinese SFDA, the tacrolimus price is much higher.

The tacrolimus price of 100G is about 130usd/g, while the cyclosporine price is about 2500~3000usd/kg.

One is sold by the GRAM, one is sold by KG. Tacrolimus is just more expensive in terms of unit price.

In conclusion, they differ in the way they are metabolized in the body and their specific side effect profiles, and they are used for different specific indications.

Though tacrolimus is different from cyclosporine in several aspects, such as potency, safety, dosage forms, acting mechanism, and so on, it is superior in many ways, for example:

#1. Tacrolimus is more effective than cyclosporine in preventing rejection in various organ transplants.

#2. Tacrolimus reduces acute and chronic rejection in liver and kidney transplant recipients.

#3. Patients treated with tacrolimus have lower rates of bacterial and viral infections than those treated with cyclosporine, especially because tacrolimus is more hepatophilic.

#4. Its efficacy for liver transplantation is 100 times higher than cyclosporine, thus reducing the dose for clinical use and reducing the cost of the original treatment by 1/3 to 1/2.

#5. The combination of FK-506 and cyclosporine has a significant synergistic effect and better results.

Tacrolimus can not only be used to prevent immune reactions from occurring but also to treat immune reactions that have already occurred and autoimmune diseases.

It is an important molecule to prevent immune reactions in organ transplantation and autoimmune disease treatments.

For us chemical exporters, the main difference between them is their prices.

If you are a regular importer of it, you know it is usually sold by the GRAM, as the orders are in 2~300 grams, unless heavy buyers buy it by kilos each order. 

According to one study, it was able to significantly lower the rate of acute rejection compared with cyclosporine-based immunosuppression (30.7% vs 46.4%)

Any customers who are interested in getting the latest price update on cyclosporine and tacrolimus please leave a comment below or contact us directly by email.

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