Background: Erythropoiesis stimulating agents are exogenous erythropoietin medications that are used to stimulate the bone marrow red blood cells’ production for the management of anemia of chronic kidney disease, some anticancer drugs, myelodysplastic syndrome, and others. Currently, there are different erythropoiesis stimulating agents accessible in the market. The objective of this narrative literature review is to summarize the role of some erythropoiesis stimulating agents in the treatment of anemia.
Methods: The following method was used to prepare this narrative literature review. The comprehensive computerized search of literatures was carried out using PubMed, Cochrane library, Google scholar, and Science direct. Keywords such as recombinant human erythropoietin, epoetin, darbepoetin, continuous erythropoietin receptor agonist, pegzyrepoetin alfa, erythropoiesis stimulating agents in combination with anemia/anaemia were used. The pertinent original and review full articles which are written in the English language were included in this narrative review.
Results: From the discussions of the literature, erythropoiesis stimulating agents that are produced by different biosimilar manufacturers have different clinical characteristics and stabilities as a result of their chemical modifications. The chemical modifications of erythropoiesis stimulating agents like glycosylation and polyethylene glycosylation determine the half-life, affinity to erythropoietin receptor, and immune response of the agents. Erythro-poiesis stimulating agents are categorized as short-acting and long-acting agents due to their chemical structures that influence the clinical efficacy and safety of the agents.
Conclusions: The effectiveness of the agents is different in different patients depending on the individual characteristics and etiologies of anemia. The agents not only have the benefits but also, they have the risks for the patients. Hence, the risks and benefits of erythropoiesis stimulating agents must be given special consideration in the managements of anemia to get maximum efficacy for anemic patients. The treatment is dependent on hemoglobin levels of individual patients. The physician must follow the patients during and after therapy using erythropoiesis stimulating agents.