Sodium zirconium cyclosilicate increases serum bicarbonate concentrations among patients with hyperkalaemia: exploratory analyses from three randomized, multi-dose, placebo-controlled trials


Section of Nephrology, Advocate Christ Medical Center, University of Illinois at Chicago


BACKGROUND: Sodium zirconium cyclosilicate (SZC) binds potassium and ammonium in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition to serum potassium reduction, Phase 2 trial data have shown increased serum bicarbonate with SZC, which may be clinically beneficial because maintaining serum bicarbonate ≥22 mmol/L preserves kidney function. This exploratory analysis examined serum bicarbonate and urea, and urine pH data from three SZC randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 3 studies among patients with hyperkalaemia [ZS-003 (n = 753), HARMONIZE (n = 258) and HARMONIZE-Global (n = 267)].

METHODS: In all studies, patients received ≤10 g SZC 3 times daily (TID) for 48 h to correct hyperkalaemia, followed by randomization to maintenance therapy with SZC once daily (QD) versus placebo for ≤29 days among those achieving normokalaemia.

RESULTS: Significant dose-dependent mean serum bicarbonate increases from baseline of 0.3 to 1.5 mmol/L occurred within 48 h of SZC TID in ZS-003 (all P < 0.05), which occurred regardless of chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage. Similar acute increases in HARMONIZE and HARMONIZE-Global were maintained over 29 days. With highest SZC maintenance doses, patient proportions with serum bicarbonate

CONCLUSIONS: SZC increased serum bicarbonate concentrations and reduced patient proportions with serum bicarbonate/L, likely due to SZC-binding of gastrointestinal ammonium. These SZC-induced serum bicarbonate increases occurred regardless of CKD stage and were sustained during ongoing maintenance therapy.

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