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Kidney Failure
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Critical Post Colonoscopy Prep Complication: Acute Renal Failure

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Patients are advised to have a routine colonoscopy after the age of 50.

Those with a family history of colon or rectal cancer or any inflammatory bowel diseases may be advised to undergo a colonoscopy at an earlier age. While there are several potential complications following any medical procedure, one of the direst complications of colonoscopy is acute renal failure.

In preparation for a colonoscopic procedure, patients are required to completely evacuate the bowels so that the physician is able to obtain an unobstructed view of the entire colon and rectum. This preparation may include the use of an oral sodium phosphate laxative in the form of Visicol, OsmoPrep, or prior to December 2008, Fleet Phospho-soda. Use of these medications for bowel cleansing may cause acute phosphate nephropathy and subsequent kidney failure.

Do You Have A Phosphate Laxatives Case? »

Patients who have an increased risk of kidney damage after taking oral sodium phosphate laxatives are those over 55 years of age, those who are dehydrated, those with obstructed or inflamed bowels, those with colitis, or anyone with pre-existing kidney disease. Patients taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen), diuretics (i.e. hydrochlorothiazide), angiotensin receptor blockers (like candesartan or losartan), or ACE inhibitors (i.e. benazepril, captopril, enalapril) on a regular basis are also at increased risk for kidney damage.

Acute phosphate nephropathy is not related to the colonoscopic procedure itself, but to the preparation when oral sodium phosphate laxatives are used. These laxatives can produce phosphate crystal deposits in the kidneys, causing loss of kidney function and possibly kidney failure. Symptoms of acute phosphate nephropathy include lethargy or general feelings of illness, drowsiness, decreased urine output, and swelling of feet, ankles, and legs. Often, early symptoms are very limited or undetected. For this reason, anyone with increased risk factors as listed above should have their kidney function monitored pre- and post-procedure by their physician.

C.B. Fleet recalled their over-the-counter products, Fleet Phospho-soda and Fleet Phospho-soda EZ-Prep Bowel Cleansing System in early December of 2008 after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that oral sodium phosphate laxatives for bowel preparation were linked to severe kidney injury and should only be available with a prescription. Prescription drugs Visicol and OsmoPrep were asked by the FDA to include a black box warning on all drug information materials, informing prescribing physicians and patients of the increased risk of acute kidney damage with the possibility of kidney failure.

Contact Our Fleet Phospho-Soda Lawyers Today »

If you or someone you know has sustained kidney damage or failure related to the use of Fleet Phospho-soda, Visicol, OsmoPrep, or any oral sodium phosphate laxative used for bowel preparation, seek information regarding eligibility and legal rights.

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