Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) on dialysis retain phosphorus and can develop hyperphosphatemia. High serum phosphorus can precipitate serum calcium resulting in ectopic calcification. 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. Renagel taken with meals has been shown to decrease serum phosphorus concentrations in patients with CKD who are on dialysis.
Mechanism of Action
Renagel contains sevelamer hydrochloride, a non-absorbed binding crosslinked polymer. 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 dietary tract and decreasing absorption, sevelamer hydrochloride lowers the phosphate concentration in the serum.
In addition to effects on serum phosphate 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.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Standard lifetime carcinogenicity bioassays were conducted in mice and rats. Rats were given sevelamer hydrochloride by diet at 0.3, 1, or 3 g/kg/day. There was an increased incidence of urinary bladder transitional cell papilloma in male rats of the high dose group (human equivalent dose twice the maximum clinical trial dose of 13 g). Mice received dietary administration of sevelamer hydrochloride at doses of up to 9 g/kg/day (human equivalent dose 3 times the maximum clinical trial dose). There was no increased incidence of tumors observed in mice.
In an in vitro mammalian cytogenetic test with metabolic activation, sevelamer hydrochloride caused a statistically significant increase in the number of structural chromosome aberrations. Sevelamer hydrochloride was not mutagenic in the Ames bacterial mutation assay.
Sevelamer hydrochloride did not impair the fertility of male or female rats in a dietary administration study in which the females were treated from 14 days prior to mating through gestation and the males were treated for 28 days prior to mating. The highest dose in this study was 4.5 g/kg/day (human equivalent dose 3 times the maximum clinical trial dose of 13 g).
In pregnant rats given dietary doses of 0.5, 1.5 or 4.5 g/kg/day of sevelamer hydrochloride during organogenesis, reduced or irregular ossification of fetal bones, probably due to a reduced absorption of fat-soluble vitamin D, occurred in mid- and high-dose groups (human equivalent doses less than the maximum clinical trial dose of 13 g). In pregnant rabbits given oral doses of 100, 500 or 1000 mg/kg/day of sevelamer hydrochloride by gavage during organogenesis, an increase of early resorptions occurred in the high-dose group (human equivalent dose twice the maximum clinical trial dose).