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Fosrenol (Lanthanum Carbonate Hydrate) - Description and Clinical Pharmacology


FOSRENOL® (foss-wren-all)
(Lanthanum Carbonate) 250 mg and 500 mg Chewable Tablets.


FOSRENOL® contains lanthanum carbonate (2:3) hydrate with molecular formula La2(CO3)3xH2O (on average x=4-5 moles of water) and molecular weight 457.8 (anhydrous mass). Lanthanum (La) is a naturally occurring rare earth element. Lanthanum carbonate is practically insoluble in water.

Each FOSRENOL®, white to off-white, chewable tablet contains lanthanum carbonate hydrate equivalent to 250 or 500 mg of elemental lanthanum and the following inactive ingredients: dextrates (hydrated) NF, colloidal silicon dioxide NF, magnesium stearate NF, and talc USP.


Patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) can develop hyperphosphatemia that may be associated with secondary hyperparathyroidism and elevated calcium phosphate product. Elevated calcium phosphate product increases the risk of ectopic calcification. Treatment of hyperphosphatemia usually includes all of the following: reduction in dietary intake of phosphate, removal of phosphate by dialysis and inhibition of intestinal phosphate absorption with phosphate binders. FOSRENOL® does not contain calcium or aluminum.


Lanthanum carbonate dissociates in the acid environment of the upper GI tract to release lanthanum ions that bind dietary phosphate released from food during digestion. FOSRENOL® inhibits absorption of phosphate by forming highly insoluble lanthanum phosphate complexes, consequently reducing both serum phosphate and calcium phosphate product.

In vitro studies have shown that in the physiologically relevant pH range of 3 to 5 in gastric fluid, lanthanum binds approximately 97% of the available phosphate when lanthanum is present in a two-fold molar excess to phosphate. In order to bind dietary phosphate efficiently, lanthanum should be administered with or immediately after a meal.



Following single or multiple dose oral administration of FOSRENOL® to healthy subjects, the concentration of lanthanum in plasma was very low (bioavailability <0.002%). Following oral administration in ESRD patients, the mean lanthanum Cmax was 1.0 ng/mL. During long-term administration (52 weeks) in ESRD patients, the mean lanthanum concentration in plasma was approximately 0.6 ng/mL. There was minimal increase in plasma lanthanum concentrations with increasing doses within the therapeutic dose range. The effect of food on the bioavailability of FOSRENOL® has not been evaluated, but the timing of food intake relative to lanthanum administration (during and 30 minutes after food intake) has a negligible effect on the systemic level of lanthanum.

In vitro, lanthanum is highly bound (>99%) to human plasma proteins, including human serum albumin,α1-acid glycoprotein, and transferrin. Binding to erythrocytes in vivo is negligible in rats.

In 105 bone biopsies from patients treated with FOSRENOL® for up to 4.5 years, rising levels of lanthanum were noted over time. Estimates of elimination half-life from bone ranged from 2.0 to 3.6 years. Steady state bone concentrations were not reached during the period studied.

In studies in mice, rats and dogs, lanthanum concentrations in many tissues increased over time and were several orders of magnitude higher than plasma concentrations (particularly in the GI tract, bone and liver). Steady state tissue concentrations in bone and liver were achieved in dogs between 4 and 26 weeks. Relatively high levels of lanthanum remained in these tissues for longer than 6 months after cessation of dosing in dogs. There is no evidence from animal studies that lanthanum crosses the blood-brain barrier.


Lanthanum is not metabolized and is not a substrate of CYP450. In vitro metabolic inhibition studies showed that lanthanum at concentrations of 10 and 40μg/ml does not have relevant inhibitory effects on any of the CYP450 isoenzymes tested (1A2, 2C9/10, 2C19, 2D6, and 3A4/5). Lanthanum was cleared from plasma following discontinuation of therapy with an elimination half-life 53 hours.

No information is available regarding the mass balance of lanthanum in humans after oral administration. In rats and dogs, the mean recovery of lanthanum after an oral dose was about 99% and 94% respectively and was essentially all from feces. Biliary excretion is the predominant route of elimination for circulating lanthanum in rats. In healthy volunteers administered intravenous lanthanum as the soluble chloride salt (120 μg), renal clearance was less than 2% of total plasma clearance. Quantifiable amounts of lanthanum were not measured in the dialysate of treated ESRD patients.

In Vitro- Drug Interactions:

Gastric Fluid: The potential for a physico-chemical interaction (precipitation) between lanthanum and six commonly used medications (warfarin, digoxin, furosemide, phenytoin, metoprolol, and enalapril) was investigated in simulated gastric fluid. The results suggest that precipitation in the stomach of insoluble complexes of these drugs with lanthanum is unlikely.

In Vivo- Drug Interactions:

Lanthanum carbonate is neither a substrate nor an inhibitor of CYP450 enzymes.

The absorption of a single dose of 1000 mg of FOSRENOL® is unaffected by co-administration of citrate. No effects of lanthanum were found on the absorption of digoxin (0.5-mg), metoprolol (100-mg), or warfarin (10-mg) in healthy subjects co-administered lanthanum carbonate (three doses of 1000 mg on the day prior to exposure and one dose of 1000 mg on the day of coadministration). Potential pharmacodynamic interactions between lanthanum and these drugs (e.g., bleeding time or prothrombin time) were not evaluated. None of the drug interaction studies was done with the maximum recommended therapeutic dose of lanthanum carbonate. No drug interaction studies assessed the effects of drugs on phosphate binding by lanthanum carbonate.

Clinical Trials:

The effectiveness of FOSRENOL® in reducing serum phosphorus in ESRD patients was demonstrated in one short-term, placebo-controlled, double-blind dose-ranging study, two placebo-controlled randomized withdrawal studies and two long-term, active-controlled, open-label studies in both hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients.

Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Studies:

One hundred forty-four patients with chronic renal failure undergoing hemodialysis and with elevated phosphate levels were randomized to double-blind treatment at a fixed dose of lanthanum carbonate of 225 mg (n=27), 675 mg (n=29), 1350 mg (n=30) or 2250 mg (n=26) or placebo (n=32) in divided doses with meals. Fifty-five percent of subjects were male, 71% black, 25% white and 4% of other races. The mean age was 56 years and the duration of dialysis ranged from 0.5 to 15.3 years. Steady-state effects were achieved after two weeks. The effect after six weeks of treatment is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Difference in Phosphate Reduction in the FOSRENOL® and Placebo Group in a 6-Week, Dose-Ranging, Double-Blind Study in ESRD Patients (with 95% Confidence Intervals)

One-hundred eighty five patients with end-stage renal disease undergoing either hemodialysis (n=146) or peritoneal dialysis (n=39) were enrolled in two placebo-controlled, randomized withdrawal studies. Sixty-four percent of subjects were male, 28% black, 62% white and 10% of other races. The mean age was 58.4 years and the duration of dialysis ranged from 0.2 to 21.4 years. After titration of lanthanum carbonate to achieve a phosphate level between 4.2 and 5.6 mg/dl in one study (doses up to 2250 mg/day) or ≤ 5.9 mg/dl in the second study (doses up to 3000 mg/day) and maintenance through 6 weeks, patients were randomized to lanthanum or placebo. During the placebo-controlled, randomized withdrawal phase (four weeks), the phosphorus concentration rose in the placebo group by 1.9 mg/dl in both studies relative to patients who remained on lanthanum carbonate therapy.

Open-Label Active-Controlled Studies:

Two long-term open-label studies were conducted, involving a total of 2028 patients with ESRD undergoing hemodialysis. Patients were randomized to receive FOSRENOL® or alternative phosphate binders for up to six months in one study and two years in the other. The daily FOSRENOL® doses, divided and taken with meals, ranged from 375 mg to 3000 mg. Doses were titrated to reduce serum phosphate levels to a target level. The daily doses of the alternative therapy were based on current prescribing information or those commonly utilized. Both treatment groups had similar reductions in serum phosphate of about 1.8 mg/dL. Maintenance of reduction was observed for up to three years in patients treated with FOSRENOL® in long-term, open label extensions.

No effects of FOSRENOL® on serum levels of 25-dihydroxy vitamin D3, vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin E and vitamin K were observed in patients who were monitored for 6 months.

Paired bone biopsies (at baseline and at one or two years) in 69 patients randomized to either FOSRENOL® or calcium carbonate in one study and 71 patients randomized to either FOSRENOL® or alternative therapy in a second study showed no differences in the development of mineralization defects between the groups.

Vital Status was known for over 2000 patients, 97% of those participating in the clinical program during and after receiving treatment. The adjusted yearly mortality rate (rate/years of observation) for patients treated with FOSRENOL® or alternative therapy was 6.6%.

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