Starting anemia non-dialysis CKD patients on extended-dosing regimens of epoetin alfa can safely and effectively achieve target hemoglobin levels, data show.
Researchers conducted an open-label, randomized trial of epoetin alfa (Procrit, Ortho) to assess hemoglobin response in 259 non-dialysis CKD patients. All had hemoglobin levels below 11 g/dL and had not received erythropoietic agents within eight weeks prior to randomization.
Patients were assigned to receive 10,000 units once weekly (QW), 20,000 units every two weeks (Q2W), 20,000 units every four weeks (Q4W), or 40,000 units Q4W. The mean time in the study for the patients was 15.6 weeks. Each patient’s final hemoglobin level was the average of hemoglobin values for the last four weeks of the study.
The mean final hemoglobin level for QW, Q2W, Q4W (20,000 units), and Q4W (40,000 units) was 11.9, 11.6, 11.0, and 11.5 g/dL, respectively, the investigator reported. More than 79% of patients in the QW, Q2W, and 40,000 unit Q4W groups and 69% of those in the 20,000 unit Q4W group achieved a hemoglobin level greater than 11 g/dL and a hemoglobin increase of 1 g/dL or higher from baseline. All dosing regimens were well tolerated.
“Q4W dosing of epoetin alfa may provide added flexibility and convenience for patients and providers,” according to researchers led by Bruce Spinowitz, MD, of New York Hospital Queens.