Bowel Cleansing Options, Kidney Risk Detailed in New Web Site

With questions swirling around the safety of its products, a drugmaker is going on an information offensive.

In December 2008, Salix Pharmaceuticals launched a Web site ( designed to inform consumesrs and health-care providers alike on issues surrounding its various bowel cleansers.

Oral Sodium Phosophates (OSPs) are among a class of over-the-counter laxatives often administered prior to colonoscopies and similar procuedures. But scientific and anecdotal evidence has mounted that links OSPs to kidney damage.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already intervened, working with Salix on a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS). Meanwhile, manufacturer C.B. Fleet has pulled two OSPs, Phospho-soda EZ-Prep Bowel Cleansing System and Phospho-Soda from the shelves.

The onlie resource created by Salix is intended as a comprehensive online resource where users can find:

  • Information on the proper use of bowel cleansing products
  • Instruction sheets
  • Package inserts
  • Medical information resources

The new Web site also provides an overview for prescription strength colonoscopy preps, as many health care professionals might be looking to transition patients away from over-the-counter medications. A representative of Salix said that prescription bowel cleansers can help ensure proper hydration and electrolyte balance while giving phsyicians full control. 

When administered in a single dose, OSPs have found generally to be safe. But when two doses are administered, even as directed, they can have serious health consequences.

Perhaps the most severe side-effect is known as acute nephropathy.

Prescription-strength colonoscopy preps include OsmoPrep, MoviPrep, and Visicol. The site strongly warns providers to pay critical attention to the dosing requirements and the patient selection criteria.

Not surprisingly, patients are advised to consult their primary care physician or other health care professional before taking any bowel cleansing agent. Physicians, patients and caregivers who have additional questions may call (866) 669-SLXP (7597) or e-mail [email protected] for additional information.

While the knowledge provided by Salix will protect a new population of patients, many of those who used OSPs might still be living with a diminished quality of life due to negative effects of the drug. Seek treatment immediately if you or a family member has been harmed by medication.

Keller & Keller LLP is currently speaking with potential clients across the country regarding this class action lawsuit.  Anyone that has suffered from an acute kidney injury is advised to contact an acute kidney injury lawyer  to ensure that their rights are protected throughout the duration of this class action lawsuit.

James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller
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