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Drugs Today 2006, 42(12): 759
ISSN 1699-3993
e-ISSN 1699-4019
Copyright 2006 Clarivate
CCC: 1699-3993
DOI: 10.1358/dot.2006.42.12.1025698
Lanthanum carbonate
Freemont, A.J.
Controlling hyperphosphatemia in patients with chronic renal failure on renal dialysis is a major problem. None of the available calcium- or aluminum-based phosphate binders match the requirements for an ideal agent, each having its own limitations. The introduction of sevelamer hydrochloride represented a step change in management. Lanthanum carbonate is an alternative nonaluminium, noncalcium phosphate binder. Taken with food, it is well tolerated. It is poorly absorbed and does not require functioning kidneys to be removed from the body. There is no evidence from current studies that it accumulates to biologically significant levels in tissues, but despite the large numbers of patients included in clinical trials, experience with long-term dosing is limited and, as with every new drug used in this type of clinical setting, patients should be carefully monitored as experience with the drug increases. Lanthanum carbonate binds phosphate effectively across the physiological pH range of the upper gastrointestinal tract, and has no detrimental effect on calcium, vitamin D or parathyroid hormone metabolism. From the extensive trial data it seems that lanthanum carbonate is an effective and practical phosphate binder. Lanthanum carbonate and sevelamer are two new oral phosphate binding agents that with others currently in preclinical trials, such as stabilized polynuclear iron idroxide, could well represent a significant breakthrough in the management of hyperphosphatemia in patients with chronic renal failure in whom dietary phosphate restriction and cheaper oral phosphate binding agents prove unsatisfactory. Comparative trials and enhanced clinical experience are needed before the exact place of these competing and complementary therapies can be properly identified in patient management.

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