Background: The effectiveness of extended dosing of epoetin alfa beyond once-weekly (QW) has not been well explored in patients being treated for anaemia of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The current study was undertaken to assess the effectiveness of extended dosing in maintaining haemoglobin (Hb) levels in this population.
Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted to assess the efficacy of extended epoetin alfa dosing in patients being treated for CKD-related anaemia. Eligible patients were to have received epoetin alfa once every 2 weeks (Q2W), 3 weeks (Q3W), 4 weeks (Q4W), or >Q4W administered subcutaneously for at least 3 months to maintain Hb > or = 11.0 g/dl. Patients were > or =18 years with serum creatinine 1.5 to 6.0 mg/dl for females and 2.0 to 6.0 mg/dl for males, and were not receiving renal replacement therapy. Epoetin alfa dose and dosing frequency were adjusted during treatment at the clinician's discretion. For analysis, patients were stratified into dosing groups based on their most dominant dosing regimen.
Results: 243 patients (mean age, 71.5 years; 79% white, 54% female) who received extended epoetin alfa dosing for a mean of 10.3 months were eligible for analysis. Mean baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate and mean serum creatinine were 21.2 ml/min/1.73 m(2) and 3.1 mg/dl, respectively. Primary causes of CKD included hypertension (36%) and diabetes (28%). Most patients (82%) receiving an extended epoetin alfa regimen maintained Hb > or =11.0 g/dl. The most common dosing regimen was Q2W (51%). Mean Hb for each dosing group was maintained between 11.6 g/dl and 12.4 g/dl during the study, and glomerular filtration rate remained stable. Epoetin alfa was well tolerated across all groups.
Conclusions: Data from private community nephrology practices showed that extended epoetin alfa dosing effectively maintained Hb > or =11.0 g/dl in 82% of these selected patients being treated for anaemia of CKD.