Objective: To review the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, clinical efficacy, and safety profile of lanthanum carbonate, a phosphate binder for chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Data sources: Information was selected from PubMed (1965-October 2005). All studies presented as scientific posters and abstracts from nephrology meetings from 1999 to 2005 were also included.
Study selection and data extraction: All published articles regarding lanthanum carbonate were included. In addition, abstracts and presentations from scientific meeting symposia were also considered for inclusion.
Data synthesis: Lanthanum carbonate has been recently approved as non-calcium-based therapy for phosphate reduction in patients with stage 5 CKD requiring dialysis. The recommended dose is 250-500 mg with meals, for a maximum of 1500 mg daily. Clinical studies have shown short- and long-term safety with lanthanum carbonate administration. Adverse effects were primarily gastrointestinal in nature. Clinical trials have also shown reductions in serum phosphorus to target concentrations, reductions in associated calcium-phosphorus product, and minimal effects on serum calcium and parathyroid hormone concentrations.
Conclusions: Lanthanum carbonate is an effective phosphate-binding agent without significant risk of hypercalcemia or worsening metabolic acidosis. Lanthanum carbonate is a safe and effective drug for reduction of elevated serum phosphorus levels associated with stage 5 CKD. The role of lanthanum carbonate relative to other phosphate-binding drugs, such as calcium salts and sevelamer, remains to be determined.