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Int J Nephrol Renovasc Dis. 2017 Sep 20;10:275-283. doi: 10.2147/IJNRD.S143731. eCollection 2017.

Efficacy and safety of subcutaneous administration of lyophilized powder of alfa-erythropoietin to maintain hemoglobin concentrations among hemodialysis patients.

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Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Phramongkutklao Hospital and College of Medicine, Bangkok, Thailand.



Anemia associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) often requires treatment with recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO). This study investigated the therapeutic equivalence between lyophilized powder and standard liquid EPO alfa by subcutaneous (SC) administration in hemoglobin maintenance among patients on hemodialysis.


This was a single-blinded, randomized, controlled, single-center, parallel-group study regarding the treatment of anemia among CKD patients on hemodialysis and being treated with stable doses of EPO alfa at least for 12 weeks. Anemic hemodialysis patients (n=63) received standard liquid or lyophilized powder EPO alfa for 24 weeks by SC administration. Achievement of the target hemoglobin concentration and safety and tolerability end points were documented.


Baseline mean hemoglobin level was 11.1±0.7 g/dL using lyophilized powder EPO alfa and 11.2±0.9 g/dL using standard liquid EPO alfa. The baseline median dose of EPO alfa was 126.4 (interquartile range [IQR] 81.6-163.6) U/kg/week in the lyophilized powder EPO alfa group and 116.9 (IQR 76.5-144.1) U/kg/week in the standard liquid EPO alfa group. Treatment with SC lyophilized powder EPO alfa maintained mean hemoglobin and hematocrit concentrations after switching from standard liquid EPO alfa. No statistical significance between groups was reported for hemoglobin concentrations and weekly dose of EPO alfa during the study. No safety concerns were raised, including positive anti-EPO antibodies.


In this study of anemia therapy among patients with end-stage renal disease on hemodialysis therapy, the SC injection of lyophilized powder EPO alfa was well tolerated and effectively maintained hemoglobin levels. Future studies of larger size and longer duration will be required to assess safety profiles.


anemia; erythropoietin; hemodialysis; lyophilized powder; subcutaneous injection

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.

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