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This medication is used to clean out the intestines before a colonoscopy. Sodium phosphate is a laxative that works by drawing large amounts of water into the colon, causing you to have watery bowel movements. This cleans out the intestines so that your doctor can clearly view them during your colonoscopy.
This medication should not be used for weight loss or constipation due to the possibility of severe side effects.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start taking this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Your doctor should tell you how long before the procedure you should take this product. Follow your doctor's directions closely. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Follow any special dietary instructions given by your doctor. A period of not eating is usually recommended before you start taking this medication and lasting until after the colonoscopy. Only clear liquids (such as water, flavored water, lemonade with no pulp, ginger ale, apple juice) are allowed during this time. Do not drink any liquids colored purple or red.
The evening before your colonoscopy, take 4 tablets with at least 8 ounces (240 milliliters) of clear liquid by mouth every 15 minutes or as directed by your doctor. Repeat this dose and the liquids every 15 minutes until you have taken 5 doses (20 tablets). The next day, start taking the medication 3-5 hours before the colonoscopy. Take 4 tablets every 15 minutes with liquids as directed until you have taken 3 doses (12 tablets).
Dosage is based on your medical condition, procedure, and response to treatment. Do not use a higher dose or more often than directed by your doctor.
This drug may decrease your absorption of other medications. Take your other medications as directed by your doctor, usually at least 1 hour before or 1 hour after taking this drug. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information or if you have any questions.
Do not use any other laxative products (especially sodium phosphate) while taking this product or for 7 days after treatment is finished. Doing so may increase your risk for severe side effects.
Watery bowel movements usually begin 1 hour after you start to take the tablets. The bowel movements can be very large and watery. Drink as many clear liquids as you can before, during, and after taking this medication so that you do not lose too much body water (become dehydrated). Doing so will help prevent serious side effects (such as kidney problems). Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
The watery bowel movements from sodium phosphate may decrease the absorption of your regular medicines. Consult your doctor or pharmacist about how to minimize this effect.
Contact your doctor if you do not have a bowel movement within 3 hours after taking this medication.
Nausea, vomiting, stomach/abdominal pain or bloating, dizziness, and headache may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Persistent diarrhea or vomiting may result in a serious loss of body water (dehydration) and 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 decreased urination, unusual dry mouth/increased thirst, lack of tears, dizziness/lightheadedness, muscle weakness/cramping, or pale/wrinkled skin.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: severe or persistent stomach/abdominal pain, black/bloody stools, rectal bleeding, mental/mood changes (such as confusion, unusual drowsiness).
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: fast/irregular heartbeat, chest pain, fainting, 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.
See also How to Use section.
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: heart problems (such as heart failure, irregular heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG, chest pain, heart attack or heart surgery within the last 3 months), stomach/bowel problems (such as blockage, irritable bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, severe constipation), gastric bypass/stapling, low blood minerals, severe loss of body water (dehydration), kidney problems, liver problems (such as cirrhosis, fluid build-up in the abdomen), salt restricted diet, daily alcohol or sedative use, seizure problem, swallowing problems (such as narrowing of the swallowing tube/esophagus).
Before having surgery, tell your doctors or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Caution is advised when using this drug in older adults because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially kidney problems, dehydration, severe dizziness, fainting, and fast/irregular heartbeat.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications 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.
See also How to Use section.
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: drugs that may affect the kidneys (including ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril, ARBs such as valsartan, diuretics/"water pills" such as furosemide/hydrochlorothiazide, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen).
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.
This medication should be used as scheduled. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for instructions. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as blood mineral levels, EKG, kidney function) may be performed to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
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