Author(s): Faich G, Strobos J
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Abstract Use of recombinant human erythropoietin in patients with end-stage renal disease has highlighted iron deficiency as the major cause of resistant anemia. The current mainstay of intravenous (i.v.) iron replacement therapy, iron dextran, has been shown in prior studies to have a risk of serious life-threatening anaphylaxis of just under 1 per 100 patients exposed. The current study assessed the safety profile of an alternative i.v. iron, sodium ferric gluconate complex in sucrose (Ferrlecit), as compared with iron dextrans. Sodium ferric gluconate complex in sucrose, a unique chemical preparation, has been in use since 1959, principally in Europe, at a rate of approximately 2.7 million i.v. doses per year (1992 to 1996) in Germany and Italy alone. For iron dextran, usage in the United States was comparable--principally renal hemodialysis--and estimated from market sources at 3.0 million doses per year (1995). From 1976 to 1996, there were 74 allergic adverse events reported for sodium ferric gluconate complex in sucrose to the World Health Organization (WHO), German Health Bureau, and the manufacturer (all combined). For the years 1992 to 1996, sodium ferric gluconate complex in sucrose had an allergy event reporting rate of 3.3 allergy episodes per million doses per year compared with a similar rate of 8.7 reported allergy events per million doses per year for iron dextran in the United States in 1995. Case fatalities for sodium ferric gluconate complex in sucrose and iron dextran within these reports were then compared. For sodium ferric gluconate complex in sucrose, there were no reports of deaths over the entire period (1976 to 1996). However, for iron dextrans, there were 31 fatalities among 196 allergy/anaphylaxis cases reported in the United States between 1976 and 1996, yielding a case-fatality rate of 15.8\%. These data show that sodium ferric gluconate complex in sucrose, when compared with iron dextrans in comparably sized patient usage populations with similar total rates of reporting of allergic events, has a significantly lower reported mortality rate (P < 0.001). Thus, the data justify usage of sodium ferric gluconate complex in sucrose as the safer iron replacement therapeutic agent.
This article was published in Am J Kidney Dis
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion