Veltassa Approved for Hyperkalemia
October 21, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Veltassa (patiromer for oral suspension) manufactured by Relypsa. Veltassa is indicated to treat hyperkalemia, a serious condition in which the amount of potassium in the blood is too high, a complication of several conditions including, Addison’s disease, alcoholism, heart failure, and kidney disease. Hyperkalemia has few symptoms that appear prior to potassium levels becoming extremely high, which can cause arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Veltassa is a polymer that works by binding to potassium, thereby preventing the potassium from being absorbed into the body. Possible causes of potassium increase in the blood include medications such as angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) that are used to treat heart conditions. The use of Veltassa is usually started at an initial dose of 8.4gm once a day with food and dosing can be increased at weekly intervals of 8.4gm up to a maximum dose of 25.2gm if the serum potassium levels do not respond adequately. Veltassa should not be taken at the same time with other oral medications, but at least six hours before or after all other oral medications as it may interfere with their absorption. Veltassa will be promoted by both Sanofi and Relypsa in the U.S. and only through a limited network of specialty pharmacies.
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