May 12, 2008
Renvela™ (sevelamer carbonate) is the newest phosphorus binder available for dialysis patients. It’s manufactured by Genzyme, the company who has manufactured the binder Renalgel™ (sevelamer hydrochloride) for the past 9 years.
Phosphorus binders, along with a low phosphorus diet, are prescribed to dialysis patients to help stop phosphorus from going into the blood when it is released from food during digestion. Binders work like a sponge to soak up phosphorus in the stomach and gastrointestinal track, so the phosphorus cannot be absorbed into the blood. Phosphorus control is a major daily challenge for many dialysis patients because it is present in most foods.
The main difference between Renvela™ and Renagel™ is the newer binder contains a carbonate buffer, which may be beneficial to help maintain bicarbonate if levels are low. Another benefit of Renvela™ is fewer gastrointestinal side effects compared to Renagel™.
Should a person on Renagel™ change to the newer binder? There’s no need to change if there are no problems with the current therapy. However for those with low bicarbonate levels or gastrointestinal side effects like vomiting, nausea, diarrhea or abdominal pain Renvela™ may be better tolerated. You can find out more about Renvela at http://www.renvela.com/ or ask your kidney doctor or dietitian about it.
Some phosphorus binders doctors may prescribe include Phoslo®, Fosrenol®, TUMS® and Calcichew®. In addition, other binder brands are available.