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Tara Helms
Tara Helms
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Serious Health Risks Associated with Bowel Cleansing Products

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    In recent years, the use of oral sodium phosphate solution (Fleet Phospho-Soda) as a bowel preparation for colonoscopy or surgery has become more and more common.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert in May of 2006 noting that “a rare, but serious form of kidney failure has been associated with the use of oral sodium phosphate (OSP) products (e.g., Fleet Phospho-Soda solution, Fleet Accu-Prep solution, and Visicol tablets) for bowel cleansing.  Some of these products (Fleet Solutions) may be purchased over-the-counter and are commonly used by individuals for pre-colonoscopy and pre-surgery bowel cleansing.  Other products (Visicol tablets and Osmo Prep tablets) may only be obtained by prescription.  Although Osmo Prep tablets were not included in the FDA alert, there is still a risk associated with the use of this product and kidney damage.

    Acute renal failure involving calcification of renal tissue has been identified.  It is believed that the manufacturers of these products failed to properly warn about the potential side effect of kidney failure which has been associated with these products.  A large percentage of the individuals who have suffered kidney failure as a result of ingesting these products have become dialysis dependent, and in some cases, the kidney failure has resulted in death.