What are Oral Sodium Phosphates

Oral Sodium Phosphates, or OSPs, are used for bowel cleansing, most frequently prior to colonoscopy or radiographic procedures and surgery. Prescription products include Visicol and Osmo Prep, both made by Salix Pharmaceuticals. Similar products available over-the-counter include Fleet Phospho-soda and Fleet Accu-Prep solutions.

What are the dangers associated with using Oral Sodium Phosphates?

OSPs have been associated with a rare but serious form of kidney failure called acute phosphate nephropathy. Acute phosphate nephropathy is often permanent and may require chronic dialysis. In some cases, individuals without identifiable factors that would put them at risk for developing acute kidney injury have become ill.

Individuals who appear at greater risk include:

  • Individuals older than 55 years of age
  • Those who suffer from dehydration, acute colitis or delayed bowel emptying
  • People who take certain medications that affect kidney function such as diuretics, medicines that lower blood pressure or treat heart or kidney failure, and possibly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and other arthritis medications.

On December 11, 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a black box warning to consumers and health care providers that acute phosphate nephropathy had been associated with the use of prescription OSP, namely Visicol and Osmo Prep. The agency expressed equal concern of the use of OTC products such as Fleet Phospho-soda and Fleet Accu-Prep solutions for bowel clearing, though it emphasized that using the OTC products in low doses as a laxative did not pose a risk of acute kidney failure.

What can I do?

If you or a loved one has suffered from acute kidney failure or any other serious side effect as the result of taking either prescription or over-the-counter OSP products, you may be entitled to compensation. For a free legal consultation, contact us today!

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