Darbepoetin alfa administered monthly maintains haemoglobin concentrations in patients with chronic kidney disease not receiving dialysis: A multicentre, open-label, Australian study

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Darbepoetin alfa, an erythropoiesis-stimulating protein, has a longer serum half-life than recombinant human erythropoietin, allowing less-frequent administration. This study aimed to demonstrate that once-monthly (QM) darbepoetin alfa administration would maintain haemoglobin (Hb) concentrations in subjects with chronic kidney disease (CKD) not receiving dialysis who had previously been administered darbepoetin alfa every 2 weeks (Q2W).


This was a multicentre study in which subjects with CKD receiving stable Q2W darbepoetin alfa doses and with stable Hb (100–130 g/L) were started on QM darbepoetin alfa dosing. The initial QM darbepoetin alfa dose was equivalent to the cumulative darbepoetin alfa dose administered during the month preceding enrolment. Darbepoetin alfa doses were titrated to maintain Hb concentrations between 100 and 130 g/L. The primary endpoint was the proportion of subjects maintaining mean Hb 0e; 100 g/L during the evaluation period (weeks 21–33).


Sixty-six subjects were enrolled in the study and all received at least one dose of darbepoetin alfa; 55 (83%) had mean Hb 0e; 100 g/L during evaluation. Mean (SD) Hb concentrations at baseline and during the evaluation period were 119 (8.7) g/L and 114 (9.8) g/L, respectively. The median QM darbepoetin alfa dose at baseline and during the evaluation period was 80 μg. Darbepoetin alfa was considered to be well-tolerated.


Patients with CKD not receiving dialysis who are receiving darbepoetin alfa Q2W can be safely and effectively extended to darbepoetin alfa QM. Dosing QM may simplify anaemia management for patients and health-care providers.

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