Daily Medication Pearl: Korsuva (Difelikefalin) for Chronic Kidney Disease

Difelikefalin treats moderate-to-severe pruritus associated with chronic kidney disease in adults undergoing hemodialysis.

Medication Pearl of the Day: Korsuva (Difelikefalin)

Indication: Difelikefalin is a kappa opioid receptor agonist indicated for the treatment of moderate-to-severe pruritus associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD-aP) in adults undergoing hemodialysis (HD).

Insight:

  • Dosing: Recommended dosage is 0.5 mcg/kg. Administer by intravenous bolus injection into the venous line of the dialysis circuit at the end of each HD treatment.
  • Dosage form: Injection 65 mcg /1.3 mL (50 mcg/mL) of difelikefalin.
  • Adverse events (AEs): The most common AEs (incidence ≥2% and ≥1% higher than placebo) were diarrhea, dizziness, nausea, gait disturbances including falls, hyperkalemia, headache, somnolence, and mental status change.
  • Mechanism of action: Difelikefalin is a kappa opioid receptor (KOR) agonist. The relevance of KOR activation to therapeutic effectiveness is not known.
  • Manufacturer: Cara Therapeutics

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