The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new use for the treatment Veltassa (patiromer) as an oral suspension (liquid form of the drug) to treat hyperkalemia, a term used to describe high blood potassium levels. The full press release can be read here, at Pharmaceutical Business Review.
The FDA had previously approved Veltassa in 2016. They have now also approved a supplemental new drug application, which is used when manufacturers want to market a new dosage, change the label, or change the manufacturing process. Scott Garland, the president of Relypsa (the company behind the drug), said he hopes
this new approval “will provide patients with greater flexibility.”
Hyperkalemia, or high blood potassium levels, is associated with several different conditions. Most commonly, it is caused by changes in kidneys from conditions such as chronic kidney disease and acute kidney failure. However, other conditions including Addison’s disease, Type 1 diabetes, severe injuries, and dehydration can also lead to hyperkalemia. Certain medications such as beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and angiotensin II receptor blockers have also been linked to it. Hyperkalemia is usually only discovered after a doctor orders a blood test, and fast treatment is important. The condition can lead to serious symptoms such as weakness, paralysis, muscle fatigue, nausea, and an abnormal heartbeat.