Background: Patients with renal failure require complex regimens of renal replacement therapies and medications, including ingestion of phosphate-binding agents 3 times daily. Previous studies suggested that sevelamer may provide extended phosphate binding and be effective with once-daily dosing, thus simplifying the phosphate-binder regimen.
Methods: Twenty-four patients were enrolled in this study, 21 of whom were randomly assigned to sevelamer administration at their previously prescribed dose, either once daily with the largest meal or thrice daily with meals, with crossover to the other regimen after 4 weeks. Eighteen patients completed both treatment periods. The primary efficacy measure for which the study was powered is comparison of the effect of once-daily versus standard thrice-daily sevelamer dosing on serum phosphorus level control, determined by using equivalence testing. Secondary efficacy measures are the effects of the 2 regimens on serum calcium level corrected for albumin level; calcium x phosphorus product; albumin; intact parathyroid hormone; total, low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein, and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; and triglyceride levels.
Results: Once-daily sevelamer was as effective as thrice-daily dosing of sevelamer in controlling serum phosphorus, calcium, calcium x phosphorus product, serum albumin, and serum lipid levels. Bioequivalence was not shown for intact parathyroid hormone, likely because of high variability. Mean serum phosphorus levels were 4.6 +/- 0.3 mg/dL (1.49 +/- 0.10 mmol/L) during thrice-daily dosing and 5.0 +/- 0.3 mg/dL (1.61 +/- 0.10 mmol/L) during once-daily dosing. The average prescribed dose of sevelamer during both treatment regimens was 6.7 +/- 2.4 g. Routine laboratory measures were similar in the 2 groups. Both regimens were well-tolerated.
Conclusion: Despite concerted patient-directed educational efforts, phosphorus level control in patients with renal failure is suboptimal and contributes to increased mortality risk. Once-daily sevelamer could simplify these regimens and encourage medication compliance, perhaps improving hyperphosphatemia management.