The safety and efficacy of intravenous ferric carboxymaltose in anaemic patients undergoing haemodialysis: a multi-centre, open-label, clinical study

Adrian Covic, Gabriel Mircescu
Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation 2010, 25 (8): 2722-30

BACKGROUND: Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) often present with iron depletion and iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) because of frequent blood (and iron) loss. Therapy consists of repletion of iron stores and intravenous (i.v.) iron has become the standard care in this setting. However, older i.v. iron preparations have their limitations. This study primarily investigated the safety, and also the efficacy, of ferric carboxymaltose (FCM), a next-generation i.v. iron formulation, given as a bolus-push injection in patients with CKD undergoing maintenance haemodialysis (HD).

METHODS: Patients (aged 18-65 years) with IDA undergoing HD received 100-200 mg of iron as FCM via an i.v. bolus-push injection into the HD venous line, two to three times weekly for <or=6 weeks. Safety assessments included incidence of adverse events (AEs). Treatment responders were patients attaining >or=1.0 g/dl increase in haemoglobin (Hb) from baseline at any time during the study. Enrolled patients (safety population) receiving >or=1 dose of study medication were included in the efficacy analyses [intent-to-treat (ITT) population].

RESULTS: Of 163 patients enrolled, 150 (92%) completed the study. The mean +/- SD total cumulative dose of iron as FCM administered was 2133.3 +/- 57.7 mg. In total, 193 AEs were reported in 89 out of 163 (54.6%) patients. Almost three-quarters of patients (73.6%) received erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), but the dose remained stable during the study. Serious AEs occurred in 12 out of 163 (7.4%) patients and two patients died; none of these was considered by the investigator to be related to the study medication. Only five out of 163 (3.1%) patients discontinued study medication due to an AE. Overall, 100 out of 162 (61.7%; ITT population) patients were treatment responders, and mean Hb levels increased from 9.1 +/- 1.30 g/dl at baseline to 10.3 +/- 1.63 g/dl at follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: FCM is well-tolerated and effective in the correction of Hb levels and iron stores in patients with IDA undergoing HD. As changes in anaemia treatment other than i.v. FCM (e.g. increased ESA doses) were not permitted during the study, the clinically relevant increase in Hb in the majority of patients can be solely attributed to efficient iron utilization. The incidence of AEs was as expected for this population.

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