An Overview of Oral Sodium Phosphate Products for Bowel Cleansing

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Bowel cleansing products, such as the recently approved OsmoPrep tablets, are used to clean the stool out of the lower bowl system in preparation for various medical procedures like a colonoscopy. Unfortunately, some Oral Sodium Phosphate (OSP) products have been linked to kidney failure.

The people most at risk for kidney failure following use of an OSP are those people that are elderly, are taking other medications that affect kidney failure, have previous conditions such as heart failure or previous kidney problems. The most common side effects of taking an OSP product are dehydration, abdominal or stomach pain or bloating, nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness. These side effects are not the only ones that have been experienced by patients. For a complete risk, a doctor would be your best source of information.

Before taking an OSP product, a doctor should be informed if you are currently taking a diuretic (fluid pill), medicine for high blood pressure, or medicine for arthritis; medicine for heart problems; have taken a laxative in the past week; have a history of kidney problems; are on a low salt diet; or are currently pregnant or nurisng a baby.

The FDA has received notification of a rare form of kidney failure due to taking an Oral Sodium Phosphate product. Fortunately, this form of kidney failure has not been reported in the recently approved OsmoPrep tablets. This report was issued in February of 2006.

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