Background: Paricalcitol, a vitamin D analog, is commonly administered three times weekly to control secondary hyperparathyroidism in hemodialysis patients. Less frequent dosing would be more convenient, require less nursing time, and be an option in other dialysis modalities. No studies have examined the efficacy of once-weekly dosing of paricalcitol. Methods: Chronic hemodialysis patients receiving a stable dose of paricalcitol three times weekly with intact PTH (iPTH) 100 - 500 ng/l were monitored during a two-week baseline, then were converted to a single mid-week paricalcitol dose equal to the previous cumulative weekly dose. Serum calcium and phosphorus were monitored weekly and iPTH levels determined during study Weeks 4 and 8. A single paricalcitol dose adjustment was made during study Week 5 based on iPTH to achieve a target value of 150 - 300 ng/l. Phosphate binders and calcium dialysate bath were kept constant during the study. Results: In the 25 patients, mean iPTH was 295 ± 107 ng/l at baseline, and not significantly different at Week 4 (307 ± 111 ng/l) or Week 8 (285 ± 98 ng/l). Paricalcitol dose increases mid-study were almost exclusively in patients with iPTH > 300 ng/l. Calcium, phosphorus, and calcium × phosphorus product were not significantly different on weekly therapy. (Only one patient developed a calcium > 2.55 mmol/l during the study.) Conclusion: Once-weekly dosing of paricalcitol is an effective option in treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism. Less frequent dosing may better allocate nursing time and potentially benefit other patient populations with CKD and ESRD.
- Vitamin D