FDA: OTC Laxatives Can Kill

FDA: OTC Laxatives Can Kill

January 10th, 2014 // 5:17 pm @

You may to reconsider taking OTC laxatives, especially day after day. A new FDA press release reports that OTC laxatives are dangerous if consumers fail to follow the warnings and instructions. FDA has noted this month that it has gotten reports of as many as 13 deaths related to the use of laxatives. There also have been several reports of severe reactions to overuse of laxatives.

The drug facts instructions and label on laxatives that contain sodium phosphate tells people to take one dose, once per day, no more than three days in a row. The instructions state that people should NOT take more doses if they do not have a bowel movement after they take the first dose.

Labels on these laxatives also states that people who have kidney disease should check with their doctor before they use them. You also should use caution with OTC laxatives if you have any heart issues or suffer from dehydration.

FDA also is taking the unusual step of telling adults over 55 that they should check with their doctor before they take these laxatives. FDA states that these laxatives can be hazardous for people who are taking drugs that affect the kidneys. These include diuretics and fluid drugs; ACE inhibitors that are used to drop hypertension; and angiotensin receptor blockers that also are used to treat high blood pressure.

FDA stated that it has seen 54 cases of very serious side effects related to the use of laxatives that contain sodium phosphate.

Experts at FDA maintain that these products are safe for most healthy adults and older kids. But it is important for them to follow the dosing on the label and to not take it more than the instructions say.

FDA stated that it does not know for sure how many people have been hurt by these laxatives, because not everyone reports problems to FDA.

These type of laxatives contain sodium phosphate, which are known in the industry as saline laxatives. They work by encouraging bowel movements due to pulling more water into the bowel system. This softens stool and allows it to pass easily.

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