Introduction: Hyperkalemia, defined as serum potassium level > 5.0 mEq/l, is associated with serious cardiac dysrhythmias, sudden death and increased mortality risk. It is common in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), diabetes (DM) and heart failure (HF), particularly in those treated with the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors or potassium-sparing diuretics. Although these drugs have documented renal and cardiac protective benefits, frequent hyperkalemia associated with their use often dictates administration of suboptimal doses or their discontinuation altogether. Treatment for chronic hyperkalemia in these settings has been challenging; however, the recent introduction of two new potassium-binding resins has revolutionized our approach to treating hyperkalemia. Areas covered: We review key clinical data relating to the pharmacokinetics, efficacy and safety of sodium zirconium cyclosilicate (SZC) as a treatment option for hyperkalemia Expert opinion: SZC and Patiromer are promising new agents for lowering serum potassium in hyperkalemic patients, including those with CKD, with and without DM or HF, facilitating the use of the RAAS inhibitors for renal and cardiac protection. Recent randomized clinical trials have shown that SZC effectively lowers serum potassium and maintains normokalemia in most hyperkalemic patients. Clinical trials showed that SZC lowers serum potassium within 1 h, although it is not approved for treating acute hyperkalemia. SZC was well tolerated and associated with minimal adverse effects.
- sodium polystyrene sulfonate (SPS)
- sodium zirconium cyclosilicate
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)