At present, the two calcineurin inhibitors-cyclosporine (CsA) and tacrolimus (FK506)-are among the most frequently used immunosuppressants in clinical transplantation. Both drugs share variable oral bioavailability, which necessitates intense drug monitoring. This variability is attributed to large interindividual differences in drug catabolism by cytochrome P450 3A4/5 (CYP3A4/5) and drug efflux by P-glycoprotein (PGP). In addition, the activity of both CYP3A4 and PGP can vary substantially within the same individual due to environmental factors such as concomitant intake of inducing/inhibiting medications (eg, rifampicin/sporanox) or food substances (eg, grapefruit juice). More recently, an inducing effect of methylprednisolone on intestinal and hepatic CYP3A4 has been shown. Also, an influence of gender on CYP3A4 activity (being higher in women) has been reported. Once CsA and FK506 are absorbed and reach the bloodstream, both drugs are avidly bound to erythrocytes (up to 95% for FK506 and 50% for CsA) and plasma proteins, leaving only a small fraction of circulating active drug. This phenomenon also limits further hepatic catabolism and hence clearance of drug, which is influenced by hematocrit and levels of plasma proteins such as albumin. The aim of the present study was to compare the influence of changing steroid doses, hematocrit, and albumin on trough and dose levels of FK506 versus CsA during the first year after transplantation. In addition, the evolution of trough and dose levels of FK506 versus CsA was stratified according to gender.