Chronic Kidney Disease in Children Medication

Updated: Jan 21, 2015
  • Author: Sanjeev Gulati, MD, MBBS, DNB(Peds), DM, DNB(Neph), FIPN(Australia), FICN, FRCPC(Canada); Chief Editor: Craig B Langman, MD  more...
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Medication

Medication Summary

Some medications (eg, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs]) and radiocontrast agents are contraindicated in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD) because of the risk of deterioration of kidney function. Dose modification is required for a wide variety of drugs belonging to different categories.

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Iron salts

Class Summary

Iron salts are used to replenish iron stores. The body stores iron in compounds called ferritin and hemosiderin for future use in the production of hemoglobin. Iron absorption is a variable of the existing body iron stores, the form and quantity in foods, and the combination of foods in the diet. The ferrous form of inorganic iron is more readily absorbed.

Ferrous sulfate (Feosol, MyKidz Iron, Fer-Iron)

Ferrous sulfate is a source of iron for hemoglobin synthesis in the treatment of anemia of chronic renal failure. This agent is used with erythropoietin to prevent iron stores depletion. Oral solutions and chewable tablet formulations of ferrous iron salts are available for use in pediatric populations.

Sodium ferric gluconate complex (Ferrlecit, Nulecit)

Sodium ferric gluconate complex is used to treat microcytic hypochromic anemia due to iron deficiency when oral administration is unfeasible or ineffective as well as to replenish iron stores in individuals on erythropoietin therapy who cannot take or tolerate oral iron supplementation.

Iron sucrose (Venofer)

Iron sucrose is a polynuclear iron (III) hydroxide in sucrose for intravenous use. This agent contains no preservatives or dextran polysaccharides. Iron sucrose is FDA-approved for anemia associated with CKD in children aged 2 or older who are dependent on hemodialysis, those not dependent on hemodialysis, or who are on peritoneal dialysis and are stabilized on erythropoietin therapy.

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Colony Stimulating Factors

Class Summary

Colony-stimulating factors are used to stimulate blood cell production. Endogenous erythropoietin stimulates red blood cell (RBC) hematopoiesis. Recombinant human erythropoietin (epoetin alfa) and darbepoetin stimulate erythropoiesis in anemic conditions.

Epoetin alfa (Epogen, Procrit)

Epoetin alfa stimulates the division and differentiation of committed erythroid progenitor cells and induces the release of reticulocytes from the bone marrow into the blood stream.

Darbepoetin alfa (Aranesp)

Darbepoetin alfa stimulates the division and differentiation of committed erythroid progenitor cells and induces the release of reticulocytes from the bone marrow into the blood stream.

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Phosphate binders

Class Summary

Phosphate binding agents are indicated if phosphate elevation is uncontrolled by dietary phosphate restriction. Calcium phosphate binders are typically the initial therapy for hyperphosphatemia. Calcium supplements and calcitriol may also possibly be used for hypocalcemia.

Calcium acetate (Eliphos, PhosLo)

Calcium acetate is indicated for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia secondary to chronic renal failure. This agent combines with dietary phosphorus to form insoluble calcium phosphate, which is excreted in feces. One caplet or tablet of calcium acetate 667 mg is equivalent to 169-mg elemental calcium (ie, 1 g calcium acetate equivalent to 250-mg of elemental calcium).

Calcium carbonate (Caltrate, Tums, Alcalak)

Calcium carbonate is used to treat hyperphosphatemia in chronic renal failure. This agent combines with dietary phosphorus to form insoluble calcium phosphate, which is excreted in feces. Calcium carbonate is also indicated for hypocalcemia. Calcium carbonate 1 g is equivalent to 400 mg of elemental calcium.

Sevelamer (Renagel, Renvela)

Sevelamer is indicated to reduce serum phosphorous in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). This agent binds dietary phosphate in the intestine, thus inhibiting its absorption as well as reduces the incidence of hypercalcemic episodes in patients on hemodialysis compared with patients receiving calcium acetate treatment.

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Vitamin D Analogues

Class Summary

Hyperparathyroidism is treated with calcitriol or other active vitamin D analogues. These drugs may also be used to treat hypocalcemia.

Calcitriol (Rocaltrol, Calcijex, Vectical)

Calcitriol is a primary active metabolite of vitamin D-3. This agent increases calcium levels in serum by promoting absorption of calcium in the intestines and retention in the kidneys. Calcitriol decreases excessive serum phosphatase levels and parathyroid levels as well as decreases bone resorption.

Calcitriol should be used in patients with renal failure who are unable to convert the inactive prohormone forms to the active metabolite. This agent is available in oral and parenteral formulations. This active form of vitamin D is used in cases of proximal renal tubular acidosis (pRTA) as multitherapy with large quantities of alkali and potassium supplementation and is also used to suppress parathyroid production and secretion in secondary hyperparathyroidism and for treatment of hypocalcemia in chronic renal failure by increasing intestinal calcium absorption.

Paricalcitol (Zemplar)

Paricalcitol, an active form of vitamin D, is formed through the removal of the 19th carbon group and modifications to the side chain of calcitriol, thus reducing the calcemic effect. This agent has been reported to suppress parathyroid hormone (PTH) without significant impact on calcium, phosphorus, or calcium-phosphorus product. Paricalcitol increases calcium levels in serum by promoting absorption of calcium in intestines and retention in kidneys, decreases excessive serum phosphatase levels and PTH levels, and decreases bone resorption.

This agent should be used in patients with renal failure who are unable to convert the inactive prohormone forms to the active metabolite. It is also used to suppress parathyroid production and secretion in secondary hyperparathyroidism and for treatment of hypocalcemia in chronic renal failure by increasing intestinal calcium absorption. Paricalcitol is available in oral and parenteral formulations.

Doxercalciferol (Hectorol)

Doxercalciferol is a vitamin D analogue (1-alpha-hydroxyergocalciferol) that does not require activation by the kidneys but does require hydroxylation in the liver to be converted to an active vitamin D metabolite. This agent controls intestinal absorption of dietary calcium, tubular reabsorption of calcium by the kidneys, and in conjunction with parathyroid hormone, the mobilization of calcium from skeleton. Doxercalciferol is indicated for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism in end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

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Growth hormones

Class Summary

These agents are used pharmacologically as a growth-promoting agent to help optimize growth in developing children with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Growth hormone (Nutropin, Saizen, Genotropin)

Growth hormone is a human growth hormone (hGH) produced by recombinant DNA technology and whose use results in stimulation of linear growth. This agent stimulates erythropoietin, which increases red blood cell mass.

Growth hormone is currently widely available in subcutaneous (SC) injection form. Adjust the dose gradually based on clinical and biochemical responses assessed at monthly intervals, including body weight, waist circumference, serum insulinlike growth factor-1 (IGF-1), insulinlike growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), serum glucose, lipids, thyroid function, and whole body dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). In children, assess treatment response based on height and growth velocity. Continue treatment until the child's final height or epiphysial closure or both have been recorded.

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Calcimimetic Agent

Class Summary

Calcimimetic agents reduce parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels. A small clinical trial with cinacalcet by Muscheites et al in children with secondary hyperparathyroidism showed an 80% decrease in serum PTH levels.

Cinacalcet (Sensipar)

Cinacalcet directly lowers intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) levels by increasing the sensitivity of the calcium-sensing receptor on chief cell of the parathyroid gland to extracellular calcium. This process also results in concomitant serum calcium decrease. Cinacalcet is indicated for secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis.

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