Fleet phospho-soda oral solution contain two active ingredients, sodium dihydrogen phosphate dihydrate and disodium phosphate dodecahydrate. Both of these are known as osmotic laxatives.
What is it used for?
- To empty the bowel before surgery or an examination such as colonoscopy or barium enema.
How does it work?
- Fleet phospho-soda oral solution contain two active ingredients, sodium dihydrogen phosphate dihydrate and disodium phosphate dodecahydrate. Both of these are known as osmotic laxatives.
- Fleet phospho-soda works by causing water to be drawn into the small intestine. This increases the water content and volume of the intestinal contents, which stimulates the intestine to contract and move its contents along to the rectum, so that the bowel can then be emptied. It causes frequent, liquid stools to be passed until the bowel is emptied.
- This laxative medicine is used to cleanse the bowel prior to examination or surgical procedures that require the colon to be clean of stools, eg colonoscopy or barium enema.
How do I take it?
- Follow the instructions given by your doctor. Fleet phospho-soda should be started the day before your hospital procedure.
- Each dose of Fleet phospho-soda should be prepared when needed by diluting the contents of one bottle of the medicine (45ml) in half a glass (120ml) of cold water.
- If you have a morning appointment you should start this bowel cleansing regimen the morning before: At 7am, in place of breakfast you should drink at least one full glass of “clear liquid” or water, more if desired. “Clear liquids” include water, clear soup, strained fruit juices without pulp, black tea or black coffee, clear carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks. You should take your first dose of Fleet phospho-soda straight after this, followed by at least one full glass (240ml) of cold water. At about 1pm that day you should drink at least three full glasses of clear liquid for lunch. At 7pm, in place of dinner you should drink at least one full glass of clear liquid or water, more if desired. You should take your second dose of Fleet phospho-soda straight after this, followed by at least one full glass (240ml) of cold water. You can then drink more water or clear liquids if you want to, up to midnight.
- If you have an afternoon appointment you should have a light snack, such as soup or a sandwich, at about 1pm on the day before your appointment. After this you should not eat any other solid foods until after your appointment. During the afternoon you can drink "clear liquids". “Clear liquids” include water, clear soup, strained fruit juices without pulp, black tea or black coffee, clear carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks. At 7pm, in place of dinner you should drink at least one full glass of “clear liquid” or water, more if desired. You should take your first dose of Fleet phospho-soda straight after this, followed by at least one full glass (240ml) of cold water. You should then drink at least three full glasses of water or clear liquid before going to bed. On the next day (day of the appointment) at 7am, in place of breakfast you should drink at least one full glass of “clear liquid” or water, more if desired. You should take your second dose of Fleet phospho-soda straight after this, followed by at least one full glass (240ml) of cold water. You can then drink more water or clear liquids if you want to up until 8am.
- You should start having frequent liquid bowel movements half an hour to six hours after your first dose of Fleet phospho-soda. You should make sure you stay near a toilet.
- When taking Fleet phospho-soda it is important to make sure that fluid lost from the body is replaced by drinking plenty of liquids. It is recommended that you drink as much extra water or clear liquid as possible while the effects of Fleet phospho-soda persist.
Use with caution in
- Elderly people.
- Weak or debilitated people.
- Decreased kidney function.
- People with heart disease.
- High blood pressure (hypertension).
- People taking diuretic medicines.
- People who have disturbances in the normal levels of electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium) in their blood.
- Inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.
- People who have recently had surgery on the stomach or intestines.
- This medicine contains sodium, and may not suitable for those individuals on a sodium restricted diet.
Not to be used in
- Children or adolescents under 18 years of age.
- People who are feeling sick or vomiting.
- People who are very dehydrated.
- People with a blockage in the stomach or intestines.
- People with an abnormal hole in the stomach or intestines (gastrointestinal perforation).
- People with reduced muscle activity in the intestines (ileus).
- People with retention of food in the stomach (gastric retention).
- People with severe inflammation of the large intestine (toxic colitis).
- People with a sudden expansion of the large intestine seen in advanced ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease (toxic megacolon).
- People with severely decreased kidney function.
- Congestive heart failure.
- People with a build-up of fluid in the abdomen (ascites).
- People who have overactive parathyroid glands (hyperparathyroidism) associated with a high level of calcium in the blood (hypercalcaemia).
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.
If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
- The safety of this medicine for use during pregnancy has not been established. It should only be used during pregnancy if considered essential by your doctor.
- It is not known if this medicine passes into breast milk. However, sodium phosphate may pass into breast milk. The manufacturer advises that women should not breastfeed their baby during treatment and for 24 hours after taking the second dose of Fleet phospho-soda. During this time breast milk should be expressed and discarded.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
- Abdominal pain.
- Swelling of the abdomen.
- Feeling sick.
- Feeling weak.
- Chest pain.
- A build up of calcium in the kidneys.
- Muscle cramps.
- Allergic skin rashes.
- Pins and needles sensations.
- Low blood pressure.
- Loss of consciousness.
- Changes in the amounts of salts (electrolytes) in the blood (which may lead to twitches and spasms).
- Irregular heart beats or heart attack.
- Kidney failure.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer.
For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How can this medicine affect other medicines?
You should tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine.
This is particularly important if you are taking any regular medicines, for example, oral contraceptives, medicines for epilepsy or diabetes or antibiotics, because Fleet phospho-soda may delay or completely prevent the absorption of these medicines, making them less effective or ineffective. Your doctor or pharmacist will advise you on the action to take; this will be different for each medicine.
This medicine can sometimes cause an imbalance in the amount of fluid and salts (electrolytes) in your body. This effect may be enhanced if you are also taking certain other medicines, including the medicines listed below. If you are taking one of these, your doctor may recommend that you don't take it on the day you start taking this medicine and for up to three days after:
- ACE inhibitors, eg captopril, enalapril
- angiotensin-II receptor antagonists, eg losartan, valsartan
- diuretic medicines, eg furosemide or bendroflumethiazide
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers (NSAIDs) , eg diclofenac, indometacin
- steroid medicines, eg prednisolone, dexamethasone.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for further information and advice.