Fleet Enemas and Constipation Remedies Linked to Heart and Kidney Failure.Fleet Enema products are part of a range of products that have, in some cases, caused severe and life-threatening heart and kidney problems. Recent research on bowel-cleansing preparations made with sodium phosphate raises concerns that those products can severely damage the heart and kidneys. The products, some of which are prescription products and some which are available over the counter, often get used before medical procedures that require bowel cleansing.
In a study that appeared in the November 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, a team of doctors from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons reported twenty-one instances of acute kidney failure in individuals who had used sodium phosphate-containing products. Three of the individuals need permanent dialysis because their kidneys are so severely damaged, and one needed a kidney transplant.
Before the study, some patients got warned about the potential health risks of sodium phosphate-based bowel cleansers, while others did not. Patients who had impaired kidneys or congestive heart failure got the warnings, while other patients did not. The research cited in the study indicates that more people could get hurt by the products than just those with impaired kidneys or congestive heart failure. Patients with unstable angina, those with the previous history of heart attacks, those who are susceptible to dehydration due either to medications that they take or to not drinking sufficient fluids and even healthy elderly patients are also placed at risk of harm when they use bowel-cleansing products containing sodium phosphate.
Bowel cleansing preparations are not the only sodium phosphate-containing products that have caused severe illness, life-threatening injuries, and even death. Some over-the-counter constipation remedies contain sodium phosphate. The constipation remedies are sold in stores under the Fleet brand name, as well as under generic and store brand names. Some of those treatments are implicated in cases of cardiac and kidney illness or injury, and even in some deaths by cardiac or kidney failure.
A warning by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerts consumers to the dangers of using sodium phosphate products. The warning states that using more than one dose of a sodium phosphate preparation in a twenty-four-hour period may increase the risk of severe kidney and heart injury. The FDA issued the warning after becoming aware that severe dehydration got reported in some individuals after taking more than one dose of a sodium phosphate containing constipation relief product. In some cases, the dehydration was so severe that it affected the individuals’ serum electrolyte levels, leading to severe damage to the heart or kidneys and, in some cases, death from heart or kidney failure.
It is critical that consumers know that most of the cases involving significant cardiac or kidney harm involved just one larger-than-recommended dose of a sodium phosphate product or more than one dose in a twenty-four-hour period. The products implicated in the heart and kidney illness, injury, and death cases include sodium phosphate-containing products that consumers can take orally or as rectal enemas. The products are available as single-ingredient products containing either sodium biphosphate or sodium phosphate or as a combination-ingredient product containing both sodium biphosphate and sodium phosphate.
LEGAL HELP IS AVAILABLE FOR PEOPLE HURT BY FLEET ENEMAS
If you or someone that you love suffered an injury or loss in connection with a Fleet Enema product, the personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP can help. We offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. Complete an online contact form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to learn more.