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Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) retain phosphorus and can develop hyperphosphatemia. When the product of serum calcium and phosphorus concentrations (Ca x P) exceeds 55 mg2/dL2, there is an increased risk that ectopic calcification will occur. Hyperphosphatemia plays a role in the development of secondary hyperparathyroidism in renal insufficiency.
Treatment of hyperphosphatemia includes reduction in dietary intake of phosphate, inhibition of intestinal phosphate absorption with phosphate binders, and removal of phosphate with dialysis. Sevelamer carbonate taken with meals has been shown to control serum phosphorus concentrations in patients with CKD who are on dialysis.
Mechanism of Action
Renvela contains sevelamer carbonate, a non-absorbed phosphate binding crosslinked polymer, free of metal and calcium. It contains multiple amines separated by one carbon from the polymer backbone. These amines exist in a protonated form in the intestine and interact with phosphate molecules through ionic and hydrogen bonding. By binding phosphate in the gastrointestinal tract and decreasing absorption, sevelamer carbonate lowers the phosphate concentration in the serum (serum phosphorus).
In addition to effects on serum phosphorus levels, sevelamer hydrochloride has been shown to bind bile acids in vitro and in vivo in experimental animal models. Bile acid binding by ion exchange resins is a well-established method of lowering blood cholesterol. Because sevelamer binds bile acids, it may interfere with normal fat absorption and thus may reduce absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as A, D and K. In clinical trials of sevelamer hydrochloride, both the mean total and LDL cholesterol declined by 15-31%. This effect is observed after 2 weeks. Triglycerides, HDL cholesterol and albumin did not change.
A mass balance study using 14C-sevelamer hydrochloride, in 16 healthy male and female volunteers showed that sevelamer hydrochloride is not systemically absorbed. No absorption studies have been performed in patients with renal disease.
The ability of sevelamer to control serum phosphorus in CKD patients on dialysis was predominantly determined from the effects of the hydrochloride salt to bind phosphate. Six clinical trials used sevelamer hydrochloride and three clinical trials used sevelamer carbonate. The sevelamer hydrochloride studies include one double-blind, placebo controlled 2-week study (sevelamer N=24); two open-label, uncontrolled, 8-week studies (sevelamer N=220) and three active-controlled open-label studies with treatment durations of 8 to 52 weeks (sevelamer N=256). The sevelamer carbonate studies include one double-blind, active-controlled, cross-over study with two 8-week treatment periods using sevelamer carbonate tablets (N=79), one open-label, active-controlled, cross-over study with two 4-week treatment periods using sevelamer carbonate powder (N=31) and one randomized, parallel, open-label study using sevelamer carbonate powder (N=144) dosed once daily or sevelamer hydrochloride tablets (N=73) dosed three times daily for 24 weeks. Six of the active-controlled studies are described here (three sevelamer carbonate and three sevelamer hydrochloride studies).
Cross-Over Study of Sevelamer Carbonate (Renvela®) 800 mg Tablets and Sevelamer Hydrochloride (Renagel®) 800 mg Tablets
Stage 5 CKD patients on hemodialysis were entered into a five-week sevelamer hydrochloride run-in period and 79 patients received, in random order, sevelamer carbonate 800 mg tablets and sevelamer hydrochloride 800 mg tablets for eight weeks each, with no intervening washout. Study dose during the cross-over period was determined based on the sevelamer hydrochloride dose during the run-in period on a gram per gram basis. The phosphorus levels at the end of each of the two cross-over periods were similar. Average actual daily dose was 6 g/day divided among meals for both treatments. Thirty-nine of those completing the cross-over portion of the study were entered into a two-week washout period during which patients were instructed not to take any phosphate binders; this confirmed the activity of sevelamer in this study.
Cross-Over Study of Sevelamer Carbonate (Renvela®) Powder and Sevelamer Hydrochloride (Renagel®) Tablets
Stage 5 CKD patients on hemodialysis were entered into a four-week sevelamer hydrochloride run-in period and 31 patients received, in random order, sevelamer carbonate powder and sevelamer hydrochloride tablets for four weeks each with no intervening washout. Study dose during the cross-over period was determined based on the sevelamer hydrochloride dose during the run-in period on a gram per gram basis. The phosphorus levels at the end of each of the two cross-over periods were similar. Average actual daily dose was 6.0 g/day divided among meals for sevelamer carbonate powder and 6.4 g/day divided among meals for sevelamer hydrochloride tablets.
Sevelamer Hydrochloride Versus Active-Control, Cross-Over Study in Hemodialysis Patients
Eighty-four CKD patients on hemodialysis who were hyperphosphatemic (serum phosphorus > 6.0 mg/dL) following a two-week phosphate binder washout period were randomized in a cross-over design to receive in random order sevelamer hydrochloride and active-control for eight weeks each. Treatment periods were separated by a two week phosphate binder washout period. Patients started on treatment three times per day with meals. Over each eight-week treatment period, at three separate time points the dose of sevelamer hydrochloride could be titrated up to control serum phosphorus, the dose of active-control could also be altered to attain phosphorus control. Both treatments significantly decreased mean serum phosphorus by about 2 mg/dL (Table 4).
Table 4: Mean Serum Phosphorus (mg/dL) at Baseline and Endpoint
|Baseline at End of Washout||8.4||8.0|
|Change from Baseline at Endpoint (95% Confidence Interval)||-2.0* (-2.5, -1.5)||-2.1* (-2.6, -1.7)|
|*p < 0.0001, within treatment group comparison|
The distribution of responses is shown in Figure 2. The distributions are similar for sevelamer hydrochloride and active control. The median response is a reduction of about 2 mg/dL in both groups. About 50% of subjects have reductions between 1 and 3 mg/dL.Figure 2. Percentage of patients (Y-axis) attaining a phosphorus reduction from baseline (mg/dL) at least as great as the value of the X-axis.
Average daily sevelamer hydrochloride dose at the end of treatment was 4.9 g (range of 0.0 to 12.6 g).
Sevelamer Hydrochloride Versus Active-Control in Hemodialysis Patients
Two hundred CKD patients on hemodialysis who were hyperphosphatemic (serum phosphorus > 5.5 mg/dL) following a two-week phosphate binder washout period were randomized to receive sevelamer hydrochloride 800 mg tablets (N=99) or an active control (N=101). At week 52, using last-observation-carried-forward, sevelamer and active-control both significantly decreased mean serum phosphorus (Table 5).
Table 5: Mean Serum Phosphorus (mg/dL) and Ion Product at
Baseline and Change from Baseline to End of Treatment
|Change from Baseline at Endpoint||-2.1||-1.8|
|Ca x Phosphorus Ion Product Baseline||70.5||68.4|
|Change from Baseline at Endpoint||-19.4||-14.2|
Sixty-one percent of sevelamer hydrochloride patients and 73% of the control patients completed the full 52 weeks of treatment.
Figure 3, a plot of the phosphorus change from baseline for the completers, illustrates the durability of response for patients who are able to remain on treatment.
Figure 3: Mean Phosphorus Change from Baseline for Patients
who Completed 52 Weeks of Treatment
Average daily sevelamer hydrochloride dose at the end of treatment was 6.5 g (range of 0.8 to 13 g).
Sevelamer Hydrochloride Versus Active-Control in Peritoneal Dialysis Patients
One hundred and forty-three patients on peritoneal dialysis who were hyperphosphatemic (serum phosphorus > 5.5 mg/dL) following a two-week phosphate binder washout period were randomized to receive sevelamer hydrochloride (N=97) or active-control (N=46) open label for 12 weeks. Average daily sevelamer hydrochloride dose at the end of treatment was 5.9 g (range 0.8 to 14.3 g). Thirteen patients (14%) in the sevelamer group and 9 patients (20%) in the active-control group discontinued, mostly for gastrointestinal adverse reactions. There were statistically significant changes in serum phosphorus (p < 0.001) for sevelamer hydrochloride (-1.6 mg/dL from baseline of 7.5 mg/dL), similar to the active-control.
Once a Day Versus Three Times a Day Dosing
Stage 5 CKD patients on hemodialysis with a serum phosphate level of > 5.5 mg/dl after washout from baseline therapies were randomized in a 2:1 ratio to receive either sevelamer carbonate powder once-daily (N=144) or sevelamer hydrochloride as a tablet with the dose divided three times per day (N=73) for 24 weeks. The initial dose for the two groups was 4.8 g/day. At the end of the study, the total daily dose was 6.2 g/day of sevelamer carbonate powder once daily and 6.7 g/day of sevelamer hydrochloride tablets three times per day. A greater percentage of subjects on the once daily dose than three times per day regimen discontinued therapy prematurely, 35% versus 15%. The reasons for discontinuation were largely driven by adverse events and withdrawal of consent in the once daily dosing regimen. Serum phosphate levels and calcium-phosphate product were better controlled on the three times per day regimen than on the once daily regimen. Mean serum phosphorus decreased 2.0 mg/dL for sevelamer carbonate powder once dailyand 2.9 mg/dL for sevelamer hydrochloride tablets three times per day.
Last reviewed on RxList: 8/3/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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