BACKGROUND - A phase II open-label study was conducted in hemodialysis patients evaluating the short-term safety, tolerability, and iron absorption with ferric citrate when used as a phosphate binder.
METHODS - Enrollment occurred in two periods. Period 1 recruited patients taking 6-15 pills/day of binder with phosphorus of ≥2.5 mg/dl. Period 2 recruited patients taking ≥12 pills/day of binder with phosphorus of ≥3.5 mg/dl. Participants with ferritin ≥1,000 µg/l or transferrin iron saturation (TSAT) ≥50% at screening were excluded. Subjects discontinued their previous binders and started 4.5 g/day of ferric citrate (period 1) or 6 g/day (period 2) and were titrated for 4 weeks to maintain a phosphorus of 3.5-5.5 mg/dl. Chemistries and complete blood count were obtained weekly and a gastrointestinal questionnaire was administered at drug initiation and final visit. Iron therapy was permitted if the ferritin was <500 µg/l and TSAT <30%.
RESULTS - Fifty-five subjects were enrolled. Four serious adverse events were reported; none were related to the study drug. Findings from the gastrointestinal questionnaire included stool discoloration (69%), constipation (15%), and bloating (7%). Mean iron parameters at the beginning of the study were ferritin 554 ± 296 µg/l, iron 68 ± 21 µg/dl, and iron saturation 30 ± 7.8%. At the end of study, mean ferritin was 609 ± 340 µg/l (p = 0.02), iron 75 ± 27 µg/dl (p = 0.04), and TSAT was 35 ± 13% (p = 0.001). Mean phosphorus and calcium levels were unchanged from baseline at the end of study.
CONCLUSION - Ferric citrate was well tolerated by patients after 4 weeks with no significant clinical or biochemical adverse events related to exposure.
Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.