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This medication may be used to relieve occasional constipation. However, when treating constipation, you should use milder products (such as stool softeners, bulk-forming laxatives) whenever possible. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about other treatment options. Your doctor may also prescribe this product (usually along with other products) to clean stool from the intestines before surgery or certain bowel procedures (such as colonoscopy, radiography). Use it only as directed by your doctor.
Sodium phosphate is a saline laxative that is thought to work by increasing fluid in the small intestine. It usually results in a bowel movement after 30 minutes to 6 hours.
Do not use this medication in children younger than 5 years of age unless directed by the doctor.
Read and follow all directions on the product package. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. To improve the taste, this product may be chilled in the refrigerator before use. Do not freeze. Mix your dose in 8 ounces (240 milliliters) of liquid and drink the mixed solution. Since your bowel movements can be very large/watery, drink plenty of clear liquids so that you do not lose too much body water (become dehydrated).
If your doctor has directed you to use this product before surgery or a bowel procedure, he or she should tell you how long before the surgery/procedure you should take this product. Follow your doctor's directions closely. After taking the medication, drink plenty of clear liquids as directed by your doctor. Doing so will help prevent serious side effects (e.g., kidney problems, dehydration). Talk with your doctor about types of liquids you can drink before your procedure.
Dosage is based on your medical condition, procedure, age, and response to treatment. Do not take more of this medication than directed, use this medication more often than once in 24 hours, or use this medication for more than 3 days unless directed by your doctor. Also, do not use any other laxative products while using this product unless directed by your doctor. Doing so may increase your risk for severe side effects.
If you are seeing a doctor for any medical problems, are on a salt-restricted diet, or if you are taking any other medications, do not use this medication to treat yourself for constipation without consulting your doctor.
This medication may cause a condition known as laxative dependence, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time. In such cases, ongoing constipation and loss of normal bowel function may occur. For most people with occasional constipation, a bulk-forming laxative (e.g., psyllium) or a stool softener (e.g., docusate) is a better and safer product. To prevent laxative dependence, consult your doctor if you need to use this medication or other laxative products for more than 7 days.
Stop using this product and contact your doctor promptly if you do not have a bowel movement within 6 hours of using this product, if you have symptoms of dehydration (see Side Effects section), if you bleed from the rectum, or if you think you may have a serious medical problem.
Mild abdominal discomfort/cramps, gas, or nausea may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has directed you to use this product, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this product do not have serious side effects.
Persistent diarrhea may result in a serious loss of body water (dehydration) and salt/minerals. This may cause serious side effects to the kidneys and heart. Contact your doctor promptly if you notice any symptoms of dehydration, such as unusual dry mouth/increased thirst, lack of tears, dizziness/lightheadedness, or pale/wrinkled skin.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine), severe or persistent stomach/abdominal pain, bloody stools, rectal bleeding, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion, unusual drowsiness), muscle weakness/spasm, persistent diarrhea, swelling of the hands/ankles/feet.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest pain, slow/irregular/fast heartbeat, seizures.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking sodium phosphate, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: serious loss of body water (dehydration), high/low levels of certain minerals in the blood (e.g., potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphate), kidney disease, current stomach/abdominal symptoms (e.g., pain, cramping, persistent nausea/vomiting), bowel problems (e.g., blockage, ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids), laxative use for constipation in the past week, heart disease (e.g., heart failure, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, edema), liver disease, sodium-restricted diet.
Consult your doctor before using this product if you have had a sudden change in bowel habits lasting more than 2 weeks or if you need to use a laxative daily for more than 1 week. These could be symptoms of a serious medical problem.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Young children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dehydration and kidney problems.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dehydration and kidney problems.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Refer to storage information on the package label. If you have any questions about storage, ask your pharmacist. Do not freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all drug products away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: other drugs that may affect the kidneys (for example, ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril, ARBs such as valsartan, diuretics/"water pills" such as furosemide/hydrochlorothiazide, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen).
The watery bowel movements from sodium phosphate may cause your body to absorb less of your regular medicines and get less benefit from them. Consult your doctor or pharmacist about how to reduce this effect.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: muscle weakness, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, mental/mood changes (e.g., confusion).
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., kidney tests, blood mineral levels) may be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
To maintain normal bowel habits, it is important to drink plenty of fluids (four to six 8-ounce glasses daily), eat foods high in fiber, and exercise regularly.
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