Dose-finding study of rivaroxaban in hemodialysis patients

Am J Kidney Dis. 2015 Jul;66(1):91-8. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2015.01.022. Epub 2015 Mar 21.


Background: Use of vitamin K antagonists for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in dialysis patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation is controversial. However, no good alternatives presently are available. The anti-factor Xa antagonist rivaroxaban is contraindicated for lack of pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and clinical data. This study aims to characterize the pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics of rivaroxaban in maintenance hemodialysis patients.

Study design: Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic study.

Setting & participants: 18 maintenance hemodialysis patients without residual kidney function at 2 centers. DRUG ADMINISTRATION, OUTCOMES, & MEASUREMENTS: (1) A single dose of 10mg of rivaroxaban was administered at the end of each of 3 consecutive dialysis sessions and area under the curve (AUC) and the effect on coagulation parameters were measured for 44 hours thereafter. (2) A single dose of 10mg of rivaroxaban was given 6 to 8 hours before a dialysis session and the effect of dialysis on rivaroxaban concentrations was evaluated. (3) To assess potential accumulation, 10mg of rivaroxaban was given once daily and AUC was measured during 24 hours on days 1 and 7.

Results: Mean AUC0-44 of rivaroxaban plasma concentrations after a single dose of 10mg was 2,072μg/L/h, mean maximum concentration was 172.6μg/L, and mean terminal elimination half-life was 8.6 hours. Dialysis had no appreciable effect on rivaroxaban plasma concentrations. Mean trough concentration after multiple daily doses of 10mg was 20.2μg/L.

Limitations: Higher rivaroxaban doses and patients with substantial residual kidney function were not studied.

Conclusions: A 10-mg dose of rivaroxaban in hemodialysis patients without residual kidney function results in drug exposure similar as published for 20mg in healthy volunteers. Rivaroxaban is not eliminated by dialysis. There is no accumulation after multiple daily dosing. The efficacy and safety of rivaroxaban in hemodialysis patients should be the subject of a large randomized trial.

Keywords: Hemodialysis; anti-FXa activity; anticoagulant; area under the curve (AUC); atrial fibrillation; dose adjustment; dose finding; dosing guideline; end-stage renal disease (ESRD); pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics; rivaroxaban; stroke.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Area Under Curve
  • Atrial Fibrillation / complications
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors / blood
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics
  • Factor Xa Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Half-Life
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Male
  • Morpholines / administration & dosage*
  • Morpholines / adverse effects
  • Morpholines / blood
  • Morpholines / pharmacokinetics
  • Morpholines / therapeutic use
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Rivaroxaban
  • Thiophenes / administration & dosage*
  • Thiophenes / adverse effects
  • Thiophenes / blood
  • Thiophenes / pharmacokinetics
  • Thiophenes / therapeutic use
  • Thromboembolism / prevention & control
  • Thrombophilia / drug therapy
  • Thrombophilia / etiology


  • Factor Xa Inhibitors
  • Morpholines
  • Thiophenes
  • Rivaroxaban