Intravenous iron-carbohydrate complex preparations (IVIPs) are non-interchangeable pro-drugs: their pharmacokinetics (PK) varies determined by semi-crystalline iron core and carbohydrate shell structures, influences pharmacodynamics (PD) and thus efficacy and safety. Examining PK/PD relationships of 3 IVIPs we identify a two-pathway model of transient NTBI generation following single dose administration.
28 hypoferremic non-anemic patients randomized to 200mg iron as ferric carboxymaltose (Fe-carboxymaltose), iron sucrose (Fe-sucrose), iron isomaltoside 1000 (Fe-isomaltoside-1000), n=8/arm, or placebo, n=4, on a 2-week PK/PD study, had samples analysed for total serum iron, IVIP-iron, transferrin-bound iron (TBI) by HPLC-ICP-MS, transferrin saturation (TSAT), serum ferritin (s-Ferritin) by standard methods, non-TBI (NTBI) and hepcidin as published before. IVIP-dependent increases in these parameters returned to baseline in 48-150h, except for s-Ferritin and TSAT. NTBI was low with Fe-isomaltoside-1000 (0.13µM at 8h), rapidly increased with Fe-sucrose (0.8µM at 2h, 1.25µM at 4h), and delayed for Fe-carboxymaltose (0.57µM at 24h). NTBI AUCs were 7-fold greater for Fe-carboxymaltose and Fe-sucrose than for Fe-isomaltoside-1000. Hepcidin peak time varied, but not AUC or mean levels. s-Ferritin levels and AUC were highest for Fe-carboxymaltose and greater than placebo for all IVIPs. We propose 2 mechanisms for the observed NTBI kinetics: rapid and delayed NTBI appearance consistent with direct (circulating IVIP-to-plasma) and indirect (IVIP-to-macrophage-to-plasma) iron release based on IVIP plasma half-life and s-Ferritin dynamics.
IVIPs generate different, broadly stability- and PK-dependent, NTBI and s-Ferritin signatures, which may influence iron bioavailability, efficacy and safety. Longer-term studies should link NTBI exposure to subsequent safety and efficacy parameters and potential clinical consequences.
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