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Icodextrin (Into the abdomen)

Used as part of a dialysis process for cleaning waste out of your body.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Icodextrin is used for a single daily exchange for the long (8 to 16 hour) dwell during continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) or automated peritoneal dialysis (APD). This medicine is a peritoneal dialysis solution. It is used as part of a process of cleaning fluid and waste out of your body when your kidneys do not work correctly. This medicine is available only with your doctor's… Read more
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Dialysis Solution

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

A meta-analysis of the use of 4 % icodextrin solution to prevent adhesion formation after gynaecological surgery

Bibliographic details: MacKie FL, Dias S, Watson A, Ahmad G.  A meta-analysis of the use of 4 % icodextrin solution to prevent adhesion formation after gynaecological surgery. Gynecological Surgery 2013; 10(1): 5-10

Impact of icodextrin on clinical outcomes in peritoneal dialysis: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

BACKGROUND: Although icodextrin has been shown to augment peritoneal ultrafiltration in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients, its impact upon other clinical end points, such as technique survival, remains uncertain. This systematic review evaluated the effect of icodextrin use on patient level clinical outcomes.

Comparison of icodextrin and glucose solutions for long dwell exchange in peritoneal dialysis: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

The authors cautiously suggested that, for patients undergoing long-dwell exchange in peritoneal dialysis, icodextrin provided greater fluid removal and small-solute clearance, did not cause damage to residual kidney function and was particularly appropriate for use in patients with high peritoneal transport status. This conclusion reflects the evidence presented and seems reliable.

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Summaries for consumers

Biocompatible dialysis fluids for peritoneal dialysis

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a form of treatment for people with advanced kidney disease to an extent where their own kidney function is inadequate to meet the body's requirements. PD is flexible, and allows for therapy to be instituted by patients at home. After initial surgical insertion of a catheter into the abdomen, patients are required to perform regular exchange of PD solution at a prescribed rate to allow clearance of toxins and fluids across the peritoneal membrane. Unfortunately, the longevity of PD is limited, which is largely due to peritoneal membrane injury that results from the use of biologically 'unfriendly' PD solutions. The 'unfriendly' characteristics of these solutions include high glucose levels, glucose breakdown products and acidity. To overcome these hurdles, biocompatible PD solutions (i.e. neutral pH, lowered levels of glucose breakdown products, use of materials alternative to glucose such as icodextrin) have been manufactured that are designed to cause less damage to the peritoneal membrane. This review of interventions testing the benefits and harms of biocompatible PD solutions identified 36 studies (2719 patients).

Agents that prevent the development of abdominal adhesions following surgery: an overview of Cochrane reviews

Abdominal adhesions are web like structures that commonly form following abdominal or pelvic surgery. They are a result of damage to the lining of the abdomen and can cause multiple conditions such as chronic pelvic pain and infertility. Many types of solid, liquid, gel and pharmacological agents have been developed which, when applied during surgery, supposedly reduce the chance that adhesions will develop. However, there has been considerable disagreement as to which agent is more effective. We aimed to summarise the evidence from Cochrane Reviews regarding anti‐adhesion agents in gynaecological surgery.

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