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Bowel-cleansing products, kidney failure are linked

Mar 15, 2006 | COX NEWS SERVICE

Certain bowel-cleansing products used prior to colonoscopies are linked to chronic kidney failure, according to Public Citizen, the consumer advocacy organization.

It cited recent research published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology showing bowel-cleansing products containing sodium phosphate are an under-recognized cause of chronic kidney failure in the U.S.

Common bowel-cleansing drugs that include sodium phosphate are Visicol, a prescription oral tablet, and the non-prescription product Fleet Phospho-soda.

Researchers cite several potential factors that may contribute to the development of kidney problems from sodium phosphate bowel-cleansing agents, including inadequate hydration, history of high blood pressure and the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Researchers from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York reviewed all of the kidney biopsies that they received between January 2000 and December 2004 and found 31 patients who had kidney damage that was consistent with phosphate toxicity, 20 of whom took oral phosphate solutions prior to having colonoscopies.

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