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Baseline Creatinine Levels Necessary Before Fleet Phospho-soda Use

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Fleet Phospho-soda has been widely used for preparing patients for gastrointestinal examinations such as colonoscopy.

This medication is an oral sodium phosphate laxative and acts by pulling liquid into the bowel and stimulating peristaltic action to assist in bowel evacuation. It has been found that oral phosphosoda laxative use is directly related to acute phosphate nephropathy and acute renal failure. Creatinine levels are an important indicator of kidney function and should be checked routinely prior to bowel cleansing with oral sodium phosphate preparation.

Creatinine is a waste product produced by muscle metabolism. It is transported to the kidneys via the bloodstream, where it is filtered out and excreted through urine. The kidneys help to maintain creatinine in normal levels in the blood. Normal levels are generally 0.6-1.2 milligrams per deciliter in adult men and 0.5-1.1 milligrams per deciliter in adult women. If the kidneys are in any way damaged or injured, blood levels of creatinine will rise.

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Testing for a baseline creatinine level provides physicians with knowledge of the patientís current kidney status. Elevated creatinine levels prior to preparation for the procedure indicate that a patientís kidneys are compromised due to preexisting kidney disease or injury, high blood pressure, diabetes or other disease. This knowledge is critical for deciding whether to use an oral sodium phosphate laxative as well as for post-procedure comparison. After a patient has used an oral sodium phosphate product to prepare for a diagnostic procedure, there is a high risk for kidney damage in the form of acute phosphate nephropathy or kidney failure.

If it is determined that a patient has elevated baseline creatinine levels, doctors should consider whether using an oral sodium phosphate to prepare for colonoscopy or other procedure is worth the risk. Patients should be informed of their creatinine levels and, if elevated, ask about alternative bowel cleansing options. Previously impaired kidneys place the patient at increased risk of formation of crystals in the kidney tubules, resulting in damage and possibly failure of the kidneys.

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Baseline creatinine levels are also valuable post-procedure to evaluate whether a patient with a normal baseline is experiencing any changes in kidney function. Any identified elevations should be closely monitored and the patient should watch for symptoms of acute phosphate nephropathy including lethargy, drowsiness, decreased urine output and swollen feet, ankles, and legs. All symptoms should be immediately reported to a physician. Patients suffering from kidney damage post-procedure, after using an oral sodium phosphate laxative prep should contact a fleet phospho-soda side-effects attorney for advice regarding their legal rights.

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