Hyperkalemia treatment in chronic kidney disease patients: overview on new K binders and possible therapeutic approaches

Abstract

Hyperkalaemia is a common complication in patients with nondialysis Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). It is associated with weakness, paralysis, arrhythmias and increased mortality. Higher serum potassium levels refractory to treatment is one of the most frequent reasons to initiate immediately renal replacement treatment in advanced stages of CKD. Hyperkalaemia is also indirectly associated with the progression of CKD; in fact higher serum potassium levels may lead to withdrawal of renin-angiotensin-system inhibiting drugs that currently represent the most effective tools to postpone ESRD. It is therefore essential to identify patients at higher risk of increase of serum K and to implement therapeutic interventions aimed at preventing and treating hyperkalaemia, such as diet modifications and greater use of diuretics and potassium binders. Sodium and calcium-polystyrenesulfonate (SPS) are the resins currently available in Italy. However, few studies showed that SPS is efficacious to reduce serum K and is associated with increased risk of severe adverse effects. Patiromer and ZS-9 represent a significant pharmacological progress in the treatment of hyperkalemia. Indeed, recent studies showed that these novel binders are efficient to reduce serum levels of K with minor occurrence of side effects than polystyrensulfonates. Furthermore, Patiromer, sodium free agent, might have a further advantage in CKD patients, reducing the salt intake in these patients. In addition, ZS-9, being fast-acting drug, might be used also in the treatment of acute hyperkalaemia.

Keywords: Hyperkalaemia, L binder, SPS, CPS, Patiromer, ZS-9

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