What is sirolimus used for?

Sep 9,2021

Sirolimus is used together with other medicines to prevent the body from rejecting a transplanted kidney. It belongs to a group of medicines known as immunosuppressive agents. When a patient receives an organ transplant, the body's white blood cells will try to get rid of (reject) the transplanted organ. Sirolimus works by preventing the white blood cells from getting rid of the transplanted organ. Sirolimus is a very strong medicine. It can cause side effects that can be very serious, such as kidney problems. It may also reduce the body's ability to fight infections. You and your doctor should talk about the benefits of this medicine as well as the risks. 

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Uses

Sirolimus is used with other medications to prevent rejection of a kidney transplant. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as immunosuppressants. It works by weakening your body's defense system (immune system) to help your body accept the new organ as if it were your own.Sirolimus may also be used to treat a certain lung disease (lymphangioleiomyomatosis-LAM).

Pharmacology

Pharmacodynamics

Unlike the similarly named tacrolimus, sirolimus is not a calcineurin inhibitor, but it has a similar suppressive effect on the immune system. Sirolimus inhibits IL-2 and other cytokine receptor-dependent signal transduction mechanisms, via action on mTOR, and thereby blocks activation of T and B cells. Ciclosporin and tacrolimus inhibit the secretion of IL-2, by inhibiting calcineurin.

The mode of action of sirolimus is to bind the cytosolic protein FK-binding protein 12 (FKBP12) in a manner similar to tacrolimus. Unlike the tacrolimus-FKBP12 complex, which inhibits calcineurin (PP2B), the sirolimus-FKBP12 complex inhibits the mTOR (mammalian Target Of Rapamycin, rapamycin being another name for sirolimus) pathway by directly binding to mTOR Complex 1 (mTORC1).

mTOR has also been called FRAP (FKBP-rapamycin-associated protein), RAFT (rapamycin and FKBP target), RAPT1, or SEP. The earlier names FRAP and RAFT were coined to reflect the fact that sirolimus must bind FKBP12 first, and only the FKBP12-sirolimus complex can bind mTOR. However, mTOR is now the widely accepted name, since Tor was first discovered via genetic and molecular studies of sirolimus-resistant mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that identified FKBP12, Tor1, and Tor2 as the targets of sirolimus and provided robust support that the FKBP12-sirolimus complex binds to and inhibits Tor1 and Tor2.

Pharmacokinetics

Sirolimus is metabolized by the CYP3A4 enzyme and is a substrate of the P-glycoprotein (P-gp) efflux pump.It has an elimination half-life of 57–63 hours.

The absorption of sirolimus into the blood stream from the intestine varies widely between patients, with some patients having up to eight times more exposure than others for the same dose. Drug levels are, therefore, taken to make sure patients get the right dose for their condition.This is determined by taking a blood sample before the next dose, which gives the trough level. However, good correlation is noted between trough concentration levels and drug exposure, known as area under the concentration-time curve, for both sirolimus (SRL) and tacrolimus (TAC) (SRL: r2 = 0.83; TAC: r2 = 0.82), so only one level need be taken to know its pharmacokinetic (PK) profile. PK profiles of SRL and of TAC are unaltered by simultaneous administration. Dose-corrected drug exposure of TAC correlates with SRL (r2 = 0.8), so patients have similar bioavailability of both.

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