CHICAGO–Clinicians start cinacalcet therapy at widely varying parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels beyond what is recommended, researchers revealed at the American Society of Nephrology’s 2016 Kidney Week meeting.

Paul Dluzniewski, PhD, of Amgen, and colleagues looked at the PTH distribution of 21,786 secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) patients newly starting the calcimimetic cinacalcet during 2007–2011, identified via Part D prescription claims. The drug is typically indicated for hemodialysis patients when PTH levels are above 300 pg/mL and serum calcium levels above 8.4 mg/dL.

Overall, PTH levels increased in the year before the cinacalcet prescription. PTH trajectories, however, showed different patterns of increase and decrease. At the point of drug initiation, both the average starting PTH and the spread of values increased from year to year.

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“Future research is needed to understand the impact of delaying calcimimetic treatment,” Dr Dluzniewski and colleagues concluded. “These outcomes include markers of SHPT as well as patient outcomes.”

The study was funded by Amgen, the makers of cinacalcet (Sensipar). Several authors are employees of the company.

Click here for more coverage from the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week 2016 in Chicago.

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  1. Dluzniewski P, Brookhart MA, Reams D, Cooper K, Kshirsagar AV, Bradbury BD. Cinacalcet Initiation at Varying Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) Levels. Presented at: Kidney Week 2016. November 15-20, 2016. Chicago. Abstract TH-PO530.