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Lanthanum Carbonate As A Hyperphosphatemia Treatment

Updated on December 22, 2011

Hyperphosphatemia Can Be Solved With Lanthanum Carbonate Treatment

Lanthanum Can Help Renal Failure Patients

As an attempt to continue exploring the various uses of the lanthanoids, this article will discuss element number 57 Lanthanum which is the first of the those. There are quite a few known uses for this heavy metal and at least parts of the medical community have been researching it in order to isolate properties that could be beneficial to patients and lead to new and improved treatment regimens. The problem of renal failure, which is just another name for certain types of kidney disease, has been found to be one such area where lanthanum can be of assistance. This is a serious disease with around 70000 US citizens dying every year from complications. The statistics so no sign of decreasing and it has become an escalating health issue with many patients undergoing dialysis for this often fatal disease. There are various reasons that a person could have kidney problems leading ultimately to renal failure and these range from chronic high blood pressure to diabetic complications. There are two categorizations of renal disease. One is acute renal failure in which the damage to the internal organs is only temporary and can be reversed although the patient will probably have to be on kidney dialysis until that occurs. The second type is chronic which ultimately cannot be reversed with modern medical practices and leads to a lifetime of dialysis and treatment.

In either type the kidneys fail to filter the various compounds in the blood stream leading to a buildup of toxins which cause symptoms in the patient experiencing this. A test of a blood sample for levels of creatinine can be used as a measure to determine whether the filtration rate of the kidneys is normal or if a patient may be experiencing a decreased ability to eliminate waste products from the body. If there is in fact decreased function then this generally leads to an accumulation of the various compounds such as potassium, sulfates, and phosphates. In the case of phosphates it becomes a side-effect condition called hyperphosphatemia. A quick breakdown of the medical jargon is as follows: hyper = "too much" phosphat = "phosphate" and emia = "blood condition" (such as in anemia, leukemia, polycthemia, or hyperemia which are all conditions of the blood). The miracle of the rare elements continues to impress with scientists discovering that the element Lanthanum can actually be used as a treatment for hyperphosphatemia which as stated is a debilitating renal failure symptom. Furthermore, the problems of inadequate renal function and subsequent hyperphosphatemia are not only a human condition. Unfortunately, dogs and cats and other pets can suffer from the same diseases. Veterinarians may refer to such cases as canine renal failure or feline renal failure respectively.

The FDA has approved various medications for the treatment of these symptoms and work towards reducing the serum phosphate levels. These are known as phosphate binders and while there a few different mechanisms, the one that uses Lanthanum (in the form of Lanthanum Carbonate) is marketed under the brand name Fosrenol by Shire Pharmaceuticals. In the case of cat treatments it is called Renalzin from maker Bayer Animal Health. Interestingly, this pill form of lanthanum carbonate is one of the largest pills that can be found at most pharmacies. Primarily for that reason it is to be chewed and is prescribed in a chewable form to be taken with meals. Aluminum hydroxide, calcium carbonate, calcium acetate and sevelamer are a few of the other known phosphate binders that may be found scribbled on the prescription of a patient with phosphate overload but they all aim to reduce serum levels by causing the body to excrete excess phosphate in the urine.

Hyperphosphatemia is a serious condition that warrants continued monitoring and treatment and these things should not be ignored. It can lead to much more serious conditions of the bones and bodily organs if not managed quickly by a competent doctor. The wonders of the Rare Earth Elements continue to be discovered almost as quickly as they can be mined from the ground and it will be very interesting to see what new cures and technology can be developed from things such as the unassuming element with atomic number 57.

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