Maintaining phosphorus balance in in-center hemodialysis (ICHD) patients is problematic despite recommended dietary restriction, dialysis, and phosphate binder use. Rarely is P content in prescribed medications considered, but this source should raise concern. Data was obtained from the Fresenius Kidney Care (FKC) electronic data warehouse Knowledge Center and MedReview-eRx accessed Surescripts, housing > 80% of US-filled prescriptions. Adult FKC ICHD patients prescribed ≥ 1 medication in the MedReview-eRx database were analyzed (695,759 prescriptions). Information collected included medication dose, dose unit, dose timing, strength, start and stop dates, refills, demographic information, admission history, and modality type. Numbers of patients, prescriptions by individual medication, and drug class were then analyzed. Medications prescribed > 100 times were reported. Median doses/day (number of tablets) were calculated for each medication (open order on randomly selected day). Phosphate content of medications taken in FKC clinics was assessed using routinely used pharmacology references, and potential resulting phosphate and pill burden were also calculated. The top five prescribed drug classes in FKC dialysis patients were calcium-channel blockers (22%), proton pump inhibitors (PPIs; 18%), acetaminophen-opioid (AO; 13%), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi; 10%), and α2-agonists (9%). The maximum phosphate added for different medications varied by manufacturer. For instance, at median daily doses, phosphate contributions from the top five medications prescribed were 112 mg for amlodipine, 116.2 mg from lisinopril, 6.7 mg from clonidine, 0 mg from acetaminophen, and 200 mg for omeprazole. Prescribing these together could increase the daily phosphate load by 428 mg, forcing the patient to exceed the recommended daily intake (RDI) with food and drink. Phosphate content in medications prescribed to HD patients can substantially contribute to the daily phosphate load and, in combination, may even exceed the daily recommended dietary phosphate intake. Healthcare providers should monitor all medications containing phosphate prescribed in order to minimize risk of uncontrolled hyperphosphatemia and poor adherence.
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