The oral adsorbent AST-120 has the potential to delay dialysis initiation and improve survival of patients on dialysis. We evaluated the effect of AST-120 on dialysis initiation and its potential to improve survival in patients with chronic kidney disease. The present retrospective pair-matched study included 560 patients, grouped according to whether or not they received AST-120 before dialysis (AST-120 and non-AST-120 groups). The cumulative dialysis initiation free rate and survival rate were compared by the Kaplan-Meier method. Multivariate analysis was used to determine the impact of AST-120 on dialysis initiation. Our results showed significant differences in the 12- and 24-month dialysis initiation free rate (P < 0.001), although no significant difference was observed in the survival rate between the two groups. In conclusion, AST-120 delays dialysis initiation in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients but has no effect on survival. AST-120 is an effective therapy for delaying the progression of CKD.