Hemoglobin Level Stability after a Switch from Darbepoetin Alfa to Epoetin Beta Pegol for the Treatment of Renal Anemia in Hemodialysis Patients


Background: New erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) with a longer half-life have been developed for the treatment of anemia as a complication of patients with end-stage renal disease. Objectives: The objective of the present study was to assess the hemoglobin (Hb) stability of a Japanese cohort of hemodialysis (HD) patients who were simultaneously switched from darbepoetin alfa (DA) to epoetin beta pegol (CERA). Methods: This was an observational, prospective study of HD patients 20 years of age or more who were switched from intravenous (IV) DA to IV CERA and continued on HD for at least 3 months. The dose was adjusted to maintain the Hb level to within 1.0 g/dl of the baseline value. Results: A total of 68 HD patients (75.0% male, median age 63.0 years) were enrolled. The patients’ mean Hb levels were 10.8 ± (0.6) g/dl at Month 0, 10.9 ± 0.7 at Month 1, 10.8 ± 0.7 at Month 2, and 10.9 ± 0.8 at Month 3, and the differences from the level at Month 0 were not significant. After the switch, the ESA dose decreased significantly (P < 0.0001) from an annual mean DA dose of 549.0 ± 246.6 IU/kg/month to a mean CERA dose at Month of 3 491.0 ± 291.7 IU/kg/month. The ESA resistance index (ERI) decreased from 51.7 ± 24.4 IU/kg/ month/g/dl on DA at Month 0 to 46.4 ± 29.3 on CERA at 3 Month 3 (P < 0.0001). Conclusion: Switching from DA to CERA was associated with approximate 89% reduction of the required dose in Japanese HD patients being treated with an ESA and showed a favorable impact on the treatment of renal anemia, including the need for less frequent injections and a reduction of the ESA dose.

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Takahashi, S. , Tanaka, Y. , Takano, M. , Suzuki, K. , Ueda, M. , Shimamoto, Y. and Nitta, K. (2015) Hemoglobin Level Stability after a Switch from Darbepoetin Alfa to Epoetin Beta Pegol for the Treatment of Renal Anemia in Hemodialysis Patients. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 6, 652-660. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2015.69087.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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