Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients should be aware that on December 3rd, 2013 the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new iron-based, calcium-free, chewable phosphate binder, Velphoro, for treatment of hyperphosphatemia (high level of phosphate in blood). Most people with CKD, especially those who conduct dialysis, understand that high levels of phosphorus can lead to severe bone weakness, joint pain, fractures, hardening of arteries, and poor circulation often resulting in heart attacks and strokes. Still, phosphorus levels are often mismanaged due to a "high pill burden and poor tolerability."
On average, dialysis patients take approximately 19 pills per day and binders contribute to about 50% (9.5 pills) of their total daily medication regimen. While using this very recently approved medication, those with CKD who are on dialysis could cut their phosphorus binder pill burden to an average of 3.3 tablets each day (1 tablet per meal). That would cut the number of necessary daily pills by a whopping 32.6%. Also, because this new tablet is iron-based instead of the typical calcium-based binder, risk of absorbing too much calcium which can lead to organ damage is avoided entirely.
Recommended Reading: Can "Too Many" Phosphorus Binders be Harmful to Chronic Kidney Disease Patients?
In November 2013, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) said that Velphoro was a potent phosphate binder, with lower pill burden and a good safety profile. Similarly, Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma believes that Velphoro offers a "new and effective therapeutic option for the control of serum phosphorus levels in patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis."
Velphoro will be launched in the United States by Fresenius Medical Care North America in 2014, the company said. KidneyBuzz.com believes that this newly approved treatment for elevated phosphorus could be very helpful for those with CKD and improve their quality of life because they will be able to less constantly concern themselves with taking medication throughout their day.
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"FDA Approves New Phosphate Binder Velphoro for Dialysis Patients." Nephrology News and Issues: Renal and Dialysis News and Resources for the Kidney-Care Community. Grand View Media Group.
Brooks, Megan. "FDA Clears New Phosphate Binder Velphoro."Http://www.medscape.com/. Medscape Medical News © WebMD.
"Hyperphosphatemia: Effects, Causes, and Treatment."Http://www.unitedhealthdirectory.com/. United Health Directory