Phosphate binders for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis: a comparison of safety profiles

Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2014 May;13(5):551-61. doi: 10.1517/14740338.2014.907791. Epub 2014 Apr 5.


Introduction: Hyperphosphatemia is common in the late stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and is associated with elevated parathormone levels, abnormal bone mineralization, extraosseous calcification and increased risk of cardiovascular events and death. Several classes of oral phosphate binders are available to help control phosphorus levels. Although effective at lowering serum phosphorus, they all have safety issues that need to be considered when selecting which one to use.

Areas covered: This paper reviews the use of phosphate binders in patients with CKD on dialysis, with a focus on safety and tolerability. In addition to the more established agents, a new resin-based phosphate binder, colestilan, is discussed.

Expert opinion: Optimal phosphate control is still an unmet need in CKD. Nonetheless, we now have an extending range of phosphate binders available. Aluminium has potentially serious toxic risks. Calcium-based binders are still very useful but can lead to hypercalcemia and/or positive calcium balance and cardiovascular calcification. No long-term data are available for the new calcium acetate/magnesium combination product. Lanthanum is an effective phosphate binder, but there is insufficient evidence about possible long-term effects of tissue deposition. The resin-based binders, colestilan and sevelamer, appear to have profiles that would lead to less vascular calcification, and the main adverse events seen with these agents are gastrointestinal effects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hyperphosphatemia / drug therapy*
  • Hyperphosphatemia / etiology*
  • Phosphates / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Phosphates / metabolism
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / complications*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy


  • Phosphates