It is used to prevent calcium kidney stones. It is also used to decrease the amount of ammonia in urine, thereby reducing odor and skin irritation caused by high-ammonia urine. This medication is also given to help certain antibiotics for bladder infections (e.g., methenamine) work better.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This drug may also be used in people who cannot get enough phosphorus from their diets. Phosphorus is a natural body mineral that is very important for building and maintaining bone.
Take this medication by mouth, usually 4 times a day with meals and at bedtime or as directed by your doctor. Allow the tablet(s) to dissolve in a full glass (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) of water for 3 to 5 minutes. Do not use any liquid other than plain water. If any medication remains undissolved, crush the pieces in the water and stir well. After the medication has completely dissolved, stir and drink the mixture.
Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
Your dosage is based on your condition and response to therapy.
Take this medication 2-3 hours before or after taking any products containing magnesium, aluminum, or calcium. Some examples include quinapril, didanosine, vitamins/minerals, and antacids. Dairy products (e.g., milk, yogurt), calcium-enriched juice, sucralfate, bismuth subsalicylate, iron, and zinc are also included. These products bind with phosphate, preventing its full absorption.
Take this medication as prescribed. Do not increase your dose or take this more often without your doctor's approval.
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.
When this medication is first started, there is a chance an old kidney stone will be passed.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: confusion, fast/irregular heartbeat, unusual weakness, tingling/numbness of the hands/feet, change in the amount of urine.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention 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 taking this medication, 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.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: infection with kidney stones, high phosphate/potassium levels, severe kidney disease.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: adrenal gland problems (e.g., Addison's disease), bone problems (e.g., osteomalacia, rickets), heart disease (e.g., heart failure, irregular heartbeat), high blood pressure, a certain hormone problem (hypoparathyroidism), kidney disease (including kidney stones), liver disease, certain muscle problem (myotonia congenita), pancreatitis, severe loss of body water (dehydration), severe burns/wounds.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: aspirin, digoxin, eplerenone, certain high blood pressure drugs (e.g., ACE inhibitors such as lisinopril, ARBs such as valsartan), potassium supplements/salt substitutes, vitamin products (e.g., vitamin D, calcium), certain "water pills" (e.g., potassium-sparing diuretics such as amiloride/spironolactone/triamterene).
If your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin for heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking it unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room 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: severe diarrhea, muscle spasms.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., calcium/phosphorus/potassium levels, kidney tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from heat, light, and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines 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 for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet