A comparative review of the efficacy and safety of established phosphate binders: calcium, sevelamer, and lanthanum carbonate

Stuart M Sprague
Current Medical Research and Opinion 2007, 23 (12): 3167-75

BACKGROUND: Obstacles to successful management of hyperphosphatemia in chronic kidney disease include inadequate control of dietary phosphate and non-compliance with phosphate-binder therapy. Three major classes of phosphate binders include calcium-based binders, sevelamer HCl, and lanthanum carbonate.

SCOPE: A literature search was performed using MEDLINE and EMBASE databases to identify clinical trials from January 1966 to May 2007 comparing classes of phosphate binders with regard to efficacy, safety, compliance, or pharmacoeconomics. Search terms included lanthanum AND sevelamer, lanthanum AND calcium, and sevelamer AND calcium. A total of 1372 articles were identified in the search, with 125 review articles and clinical trials of interest identified.

FINDINGS: Calcium-based binders are effective, but their potential to contribute to total body calcium overload and vascular calcification is an important long-term clinical concern. Sevelamer HCl is effective in reducing serum phosphate, has no systemic absorption, and does not increase total body calcium load. However, sevelamer HCl binds bile acids, is not an efficient phosphate binder in an acidic environment, and contributes to metabolic acidosis. Lanthanum carbonate is a potent and selective phosphate binder that retains high affinity for phosphate over a wide pH range, does not bind bile acids or contribute to metabolic acidosis, and has the potential to reduce pill burden and increase patient compliance compared with other phosphate binders.

CONCLUSIONS: All three classes of phosphate binders are effective at reducing serum phosphate levels. Lanthanum carbonate may result in increased adherence by decreasing the pill burden.

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