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Drug Relieves Anemia in Chronic Kidney Disease

Intravenous ferumoxytol more effective than oral iron

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Intravenous ferumoxytol, an iron oxide nanoparticle, is more effective than oral iron in alleviating anemia in patients with chronic kidney disease, according to the results of a study published online June 4 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Bruce S. Spinowitz, M.D., from New York Hospital Medical Center in Queens, N.Y., and colleagues randomly assigned 304 patients with chronic kidney disease (stage 1-5) to 510-mg doses of intravenous ferumoxytol twice over a mean of five days or 200 mg oral iron daily for 21 days.

The researchers found that the mean increase in hemoglobin at day 35 was significantly higher for ferumoxytol than oral iron (0.82 versus 0.16 g/dL, respectively). The increase occurred both in patients not receiving erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (mean 0.62 versus 0.13 g/dL, respectively) and in patients receiving erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (mean 1.16 versus 0.19 g/dL, respectively), the report indicates. There were fewer treatment-related adverse events in patients receiving ferumoxytol (10.6 percent) versus patients receiving oral iron (24 percent), although none were serious.

"In summary, a regimen of two doses of 510 mg of intravenous ferumoxytol administered rapidly within [a mean five] days was well tolerated and had the intended therapeutic effect. This regimen may offer a new, efficient option to treat iron deficiency anemia in patients with chronic kidney disease," Spinowitz and colleagues conclude.

The study was funded by AMAG Pharmaceuticals, and several study authors disclosed financial ties to the company.

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