Title















Site Registration | FInd a Copy | Event Calendar | Site Map | Search the Site
The Voice of the Black Community

Health

Can a laxative overdose be fatal?
FDA warning consumers to carefully follow instructions
 
Published Tuesday, January 14, 2014
by Michaela L. Duckett

clientuploads/v38n18photos/DoctorVisit_300.jpg
PHOTO/MICROSOFT IMAGES
The FDA is now warning adults over 55 and children with certain healthy conditions to consult with a healthcare professional prior to using these products because they may be at an increased risk for harmful side effects.

Constipation may not be the most polite topic of conversation, but it’s a condition that bothers many of us, at least on occasion.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, some over-the-counter laxatives are potentially dangerous, even deadly, if dosing instructions are not properly followed or when there are preexisting health conditions. 

The FDA is warning consumers after receiving dozens of reports of serious side effects, including 13 deaths, associated with the use of laxatives containing sodium phosphate. 

According to Mona Khurana M.D., a medical officer in FDA’s division of Nonprescription Regulation Development and a pediatric nephrologist, the most serious harm in recent reports occurred after consumers overdosed by taking a single dose that was higher than recommended on the Drug Facts label or took more than one dose a day.

“The bottom line is that these products are safe for otherwise healthy adults and older children for whom dosing instructions are provided on the Drug Facts label as long as they follow these dosing instructions and don’t take the product more often or in greater amounts than the label instructs,” Khurana said in a statement.

The FDA has identified 54 cases of serious side effects associated with OTC sodium phosphate products. Thirteen cases were fatal, including one child.

“It is not possible to determine the precise rate of these events as no one knows how many individuals who take these medications may experience side effects,” said Khurana, adding: “Not everybody who develops problems in association with sodium phosphate use reports to the FDA.”

Sodium phosphate laxatives, according to the label, should only be used as a single dose taken once a day and should not be used for more than three days. 

In addition, the FDA is now warning adults over 55 and children with certain health conditions to consult with a healthcare professional prior to using these products because they may be at an increased risk for harmful side effects. These new warnings are not currently on the Drug Facts label.

Visit www.FDA.gov for more information.

Comments

Leave a Comment


Send this page to a friend

Upcoming Events

read all
15

Blue Man Group

This group of silent blue men is best known for

17

Women in the Winner's Circle

Danica Patrick is far from the only female

17

Alive After Five

Kick off the weekend every Thursday in style with

Latest News

read all

Lights, colors and sounds in ‘Van Gogh Alive’

Masterpieces come to life at Discovery Place

Religion, spirituality influence health

New study sheds light on link between religion, habits and health

Focused on the future

Marketing region to world is priority