Reducing the Pill Burden and Better Phosphate Control

Pure Life RenalPhysician

Reducing the pill burden for dialysis patients has the opportunity to improve a patient’s quality of life. Drugs that help patients better manage phosphate levels with fewer pills is something that may also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular events and bone fracture.
Phosphate control is difficult for many. Dialysis patients take an average of 19 pills per day, with half of these pills being phosphate binders. These binders work like a magnet, attaching to phosphates in the gut before they can be absorbed, and thus effectively removing them.

Velphoro (sucroferric oxyhydroxide) is a novel, non-absorbable iron-based phosphate binder with high binding potency. A starting dose of three pills a day is approved for use in chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis. In two years of real-world data, treatment with Velphoro increased the number of dialysis patients able to reach recommended levels of serum phosphorus with half the number of pills (four to five) compared to the most common phosphate binder (eight to nine pills per day).


Velphoro® (sucroferric oxyhydroxide) is a phosphate binder indicated for the control of serum phosphorus levels in patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis.

Important Safety Information

  • Velphoro chewable tablets must be taken with meals. Velphoro should be chewed or crushed. Do not swallow whole. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and other supplements. Velphoro can interact with other medicines.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have any of the following: Peritonitis (an infection) during peritoneal dialysis, significant gastric or liver disorder, recent major gastrointestinal (GI) surgery, a history of hemochromatosis or other disease that results in iron build-up in the body. People with these conditions were not included in clinical studies with Velphoro, and your healthcare provider will monitor your iron levels while you are taking Velphoro.
  • Velphoro can cause side effects. The most common side effects are discolored feces, diarrhea, and nausea. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. To report negative side effects associated with taking Velphoro, contact Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) AT 1-800-323-5188. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or visit
  • Before taking Velphoro, tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breast-feeding.

For More Information about Velphoro, Please See Full Prescribing Information

By Robert J Kossmann, MD