Which medications in the drug class Hematopoietic Growth Factors are used in the treatment of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?

Updated: Apr 02, 2021
  • Author: Pradeep Arora, MD; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Hematopoietic Growth Factors

Growth factors are used to treat anemia of CKD by stimulating red blood cell (RBC) production.

Epoetin alfa (Epogen, Procrit)

Epoetin alfa stimulates the division and differentiation of committed erythroid progenitor cells. It induces the release of reticulocytes from the bone marrow into the bloodstream.

Darbepoetin (Aranesp)

Darbepoetin is an erythropoiesis-stimulating protein closely related to erythropoietin, a primary growth factor produced in the kidney that stimulates the development of erythroid progenitor cells. Its mechanism of action is similar to that of endogenous erythropoietin, which interacts with stem cells to increase red cell production.

Darbepoetin contains 5 N-linked oligosaccharide chains, whereas epoetin alfa contains 3 such chains. Darbepoetin has a longer half-life than epoetin alfa and may be administered weekly or biweekly.

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