A comparison of the calcium-free phosphate binder sevelamer hydrochloride with calcium acetate in the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in hemodialysis patients

A J Bleyer, S K Burke, M Dillon, B Garrett, K S Kant, D Lynch, S N Rahman, P Schoenfeld, I Teitelbaum, S Zeig, E Slatopolsky
American Journal of Kidney Diseases 1999, 33 (4): 694-701
Current phosphate binders used in hemodialysis patients include calcium-based binders that result in frequent hypercalcemia and aluminum-based binders that result in total body aluminum accumulation over time. This investigation describes the use of a calcium- and aluminum-free phosphate-binding polymer in hemodialysis patients and compares it with a standard calcium-based phosphate binder. An open-label, randomized, crossover study was performed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of sevelamer hydrochloride in controlling hyperphosphatemia in hemodialysis patients. After a 2-week phosphate binder washout period, stable hemodialysis patients were administered either sevelamer or calcium acetate, and the dosages were titrated upward to achieve improved phosphate control over an 8-week period. After a 2-week washout period, patients crossed over to the alternate agent for 8 weeks. Eighty-four patients from eight centers participated in the study. There was a similar decrease in serum phosphate values over the course of the study with both sevelamer (-2.0 +/- 2.3 mg/dL) and calcium acetate (-2.1 +/- 1.9 mg/dL). Twenty-two percent of patients developed a serum calcium greater than 11.0 mg/dL while receiving calcium acetate, versus 5% of patients receiving sevelamer (P < 0.01). The incidence of hypercalcemia for sevelamer was not different from the incidence of hypercalcemia during the washout period. Patients treated with sevelamer also sustained a 24% mean decrease in serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Sevelamer was effective in controlling hyperphosphatemia without resulting in an increase in the incidence of hypercalcemia seen with calcium acetate. This agent appears quite effective in the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in hemodialysis patients, and its usage may be advantageous in the treatment of dialysis patients.

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