Practice Of Taking Phosphorus Binders Proving Costly For Chronic Kidney Disease & Dialysis Patients

If you ask most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients what their number one goal is in terms of their health, they will likely answer, "To lead a high quality of life and live longer." Would you agree? Well, a new study published in, Hemodialysis International, has found that a practice of skipping doses of prescribed Phosphate Binder medication which is done by a majority of Dialysis patients (57% of patients in the United States) may be impacting both their quality of life and survival.

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As most patients know, High Phosphorus (Hyperphosphatemia) can lead to nausea and a heart rate that may be so slow and irregular resulting in unconsciousness and possibly death in those with Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis. Diet alone cannot counteract the effect of unsafe phosphorus levels in the body which is why Phosphorus Binders (Fosrenol, Phoslo and Tums) are typically prescribed by Nephrologists to expel excess phosphorus through the digestive tract. 

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Lead Researcher, Dr. Rachel B. Fissell (Vanderbilt University Medical Center) released a questionnaire and asked Dialysis patients from around the world, how often they skipped their Phosphate Binders in the prior month. Surprisingly, "Nearly half (45%) reported skipping the medication at least once, including 57% of patients in the United States," reported Renal and Urology News.  

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Many patients are under the mistaken belief that it is okay to miss taking their binders and do not treat Phosphorus Binders with the same priority as their other prescribed medications. While accidentally forgetting to take a single binder may not cause immediate detrimental health side effects, a mentality or habit of skipping Phosphate Binders may cause harm to patients. "Everybody that I have ever heard of that takes a medication misses a dose from time to time," said Dr. David Meyerson. "If you miss a single is usually not a problem. But it is important not to get off track about taking your medication since regular doses can help...reduce the chances of related health problems." 

Recommended Reading: When Should Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Take Phosphorus Binders To Make Them Most Effective?

Dr. Fissell suggested that pill burden may be a major obstacle for most patients skipping their binders since Phosphate Binders ranged from an average 7.4 pills per day in the United States. “Simpler, more achievable [Phosphate Binder] PB regimens could lead to better adherence and perhaps lower phosphorus and PTH levels,” the investigators suggested. 

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allenging to take their Phosphorus Binders may attempt the following strategies:

1.) Discuss with your Nephrologists adjusting medications to limit the amount of binders you must take.

2.) Keep your Phosphate Binders in a convenient location(s). Put your binders where you will easily see them, such as on the nightstand by your bed, at your kitchen table next to the pepper, and in the glove compartment of your car. 

3.) Keep extra binders on hand and do not run dry. "Plan ahead so that you don't run out," said Dr. Meyerson. To help you with this, try making a note in your calendar when it is time to re-order or pick up your medication.

4.) Take a medication you can afford. If the cost of your recommended Phosphorus Binder is keeping you from taking it as you should, talk with your Nephrologists. "Many doctors who prescribe medications don't actually know what the patient ends up being charged," noted Dr. Meyerson. Thus work with your Nephroloigst to find a medication that is both effective and affordable for you.

5.) Communicate any side effects you are experiencing. Sometimes Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients refuse to take binders because it causes unpleasant side effects. Well, Nephrologists often have alternatives they can recommend, so be sure to let them know if you would prefer another type of binder. 

Recommended Reading: Shocking Physical And Mental Side Effects That Are Showing Up From Phosphorus Binders

Are you able to take your Phosphorus Binders as prescribed? If so, how? If not, what is the biggest obstacle you face. We want to know YOUR personal experience. Share your response with the over 26,700 Friends on the Facebook Fan Page. Like on Facebook. Also, you should know that has become the largest Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis specific resource outside of the National Kidney Foundation. Therefore, join the over 100,000 monthly visitors at for your Number One (1) source of Daily News, Information, Impact Meals, Inspirational Quotes, and tailored Products and Services which teach Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure patients how to better manage and improve their lives.

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