Erythropoietin-Alpha Dosage Requirements in a Provincial Hemodialysis Population: Effect of Switching from Subcutaneous to Intravenous AdministrationRaymond C.B.a · Collins D.M.b · Bernstein K.N.c, d · Skwarchuk D.E.c · Vercaigne L.M.b, c
aRenal Drug Use Management Initiative, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority; bFaculty of Pharmacy, University of Manitoba; cManitoba Renal Program, and dDepartment of Internal Medicine (Section of Nephrology), Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
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Background: The purpose of this initiative was to compare erythropoietin-α doses in hemodialysis patients who changed from subcutaneous to intravenous administration. The Manitoba Renal Program switched routes due to concern about erythropoietin-associated pure red cell aplasia. Methods: We compared the erythropoie tin-α dosage requirements during subcutaneous administration (3 months pre-switch) and intravenous administration (months 4–6 post-switch). We also compared: hemoglobin, transferrin saturation (Tsat%), ferritin, and percent of patients receiving intravenous iron. The same erythropoietin-α regimen was initially used when patients were switched. Results: Of the 628 patients receiving erythropoietin-α, the data were complete for 400. The dose increased 26% (mean ± SD, 10,425 ± 7,330 vs. 13,125 ± 8,638 IU/week; p < 0.0001), despite similar hemoglobin, (mean ± SD, 11.5 ± 1.1g/dl (114.9 ± 11.2 g/l) vs. 11.3 ± 1.0 g/dl (113.5 ± 10.4 g/l); p = 0.0450) and iron parameters (Tsat 30.9%, ferritin 464 ng/ml (µg/l) vs. Tsat 28.7%, ferritin 538 ng/ml (µg/l)). For the subgroup of 84 patients who maintained target hemoglobin (10–11 g/dl or 110–120 g/l) for both periods, the dose increased 26% (mean ± SD, 8,393 ± 6,242 vs. 10,589 ± 7,049 IU/week; p < 0.0001) without a change in hemoglobin, (mean ± SD, 11.5 ± 0.3 g/dl (115.2 ± 3.0 g/l) vs. 11.5 ± 0.3 g/dl (114.9 ± 3.3 g/l); p = 0.5789). When stratified by subcutaneous dose, patients with the lowest dose (<5,000 IU/week) demonstrated the greatest increase (89%), and those with the highest dose (>20,000 IU/week) experienced no increase (–3%). Conclusion: Overall, erythropoietin-α doses increased by 26% when patients were converted from subcutaneous to intravenous administration.
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