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 causes a bowel movement after 1 to 5 minutes.
Do not use this medication in children younger than 2 years of age.
This product is for rectal use only. Follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist. 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).
Wash your hands before and after using this product. Remove the protective shield from the enema. Lie on your left side with knee bent. Or if you find it more comfortable, you may kneel, then lower your head and chest forward until the left side of your face is resting on a flat surface with your left arm folded comfortably. With steady pressure, gently insert enema tip into the rectum with a slight side-to-side movement, pointing the tip toward the navel. Do not force the enema tip into the rectum because you could hurt yourself. Squeeze the bottle until the recommended amount of the drug is inside the rectum. You do not need to empty the bottle completely because it has more liquid than needed. Remove the bottle tip from the rectum. Stay in position for 1 to 5 minutes until you feel a strong urge to have a bowel movement.
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 use this product. Follow your doctor's directions closely. After using the medication, drink plenty of clear liquids as directed by your doctor. Doing so will help prevent serious side effects (such as kidney problems, dehydration). Talk with your doctor about types of liquids you can drink before your procedure.
The dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. Do not use 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 serious side effects.
This medication may cause a condition known as laxative dependence, especially if you use it regularly for a long time. In such cases, your bowel may stop working normally and you may have ongoing constipation. For most people with occasional constipation, a bulk-forming laxative (such as psyllium) or a stool softener (such as 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.
Tell your doctor right away if the enema tip causes rectal bleeding/pain, if you do not have a bowel movement within 30 minutes of using the product, if you have symptoms of dehydration (see Side Effects section), or if you think you may have a serious medical problem.
Mild abdominal discomfort/cramps or gas may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell 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 decreased urination, 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: severe or persistent stomach/abdominal pain, bloody stools, rectal bleeding, mental/mood changes (such as confusion, unusual drowsiness), muscle weakness/spasm, persistent diarrhea, swelling of the hands/ankles/feet, change in the amount of urine.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: 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.
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 using 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 (such as potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphate), kidney disease, current stomach/abdominal symptoms (such as pain, cramping, persistent nausea/vomiting), bowel problems (such as blockage, ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids), laxative use for constipation in the past week, heart disease (such as heart failure, irregular heartbeat), 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.
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 (including 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.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If swallowing or overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. 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 (such as confusion), change in the amount of urine.
Keep all regular medical and laboratory appointments.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as 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.
Refer to storage information printed on the package. If you have any questions about storage, ask your pharmacist. Do not freeze. 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.
Information last revised March 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet