Phosphate binder

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Phosphate binders are a group of medications used to reduce the absorption of phosphate and taken with meals and snacks. They are typically used in patients with chronic renal failure (CRF) as they cannot get rid of the phosphates that get into their blood (i.e., the serum phosphate in chronic renal failure is typically elevated).

Clinical use[edit]

For patients with chronic renal failure, controlling serum phosphate is important because it is associated with bone pathology and regulated together with serum calcium by the parathyroid hormone (PTH).[1]

Mechanism of action[edit]

These agents work by binding to phosphate in the GI tract, thereby making it unavailable to the body for absorption. Hence, these drugs are usually taken with meals to bind any phosphate that may be present in the ingested food. Phosphate binders may be simple molecular entities (such as magnesium, aluminium, calcium, or lanthanum salts) that react with phosphate and form an insoluble compound. Phosphate binders such as sevelamer may also be polymeric structures which bind to phosphate and are then excreted.

Adverse effects[edit]

With regard to phosphate binders, aluminium-containing compounds (such as aluminium hydroxide) are the least preferred because prolonged aluminium intake can cause encephalopathy and osteomalacia. If calcium is already being used as a supplement, additional calcium used as a phosphate binder may cause hypercalcemia and tissue-damaging calcinosis. One may avoid these adverse effects by using phosphate binders that do not contain calcium or aluminium as active ingredients, such as lanthanum carbonate or sevelamer.

Common phosphate binders[edit]


  1. ^ Lederer E, Ouseph R, Erbeck K. Hyperphosphatemia,, URL:, Accessed on July 14, 2005.
  2. ^ Spiegel DM, Farmer B, Smits G, Chonchol M.,Magnesium carbonate is an effective phosphate binder for chronic hemodialysis patients: a pilot study, URL:

External links[edit]

Common Phosphate Binders[edit]