That 'nature's helper' could be deadly: Some laxatives tied to unintended deaths
Sodium phosphate-based laxatives found to be frequently misused
Everyone at some point loses their get up and go - to go. Constipation is a common health ailment, which is defined as a time when a person has a hard time defecating, or is unable to defecate. Many reach for an over-the-counter laxative, but health experts warn that laxative misuse can sometimes be fatal.
Constipation is a common health ailment, which is defined as a time when a person has a hard time defecating, or is unable to defecate.
The laxative that is sodium phosphate-based instructs its users to only use the medication ONCE A DAY. More importantly, these pills, gums or liquid say that if the user doesn't immediately have bowel movement after taking it - should not repeat the dosage.
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The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA say many choose to ignore the Drug Facts label when there are certain coexisting health conditions. There have been at least 13 deaths associated with the use of sodium phosphate laxatives.
Adults and children should also ask health care professionals before using these products if they have kidney disease, heart problems or dehydration.
Adults older than 55 and adults and children with certain health conditions should ask a health care professional before using these products because they may be at increased risk for harmful side effects.
Laxatives-taken both orally and rectally come in different forms, with different ingredients. Sodium phosphate-based laxative are in a designated class of medications called saline laxatives. This class of laxatives helps promote a bowel movement by drawing water into the bowel, which softens the stool and makes it easier to pass.
Sodium phosphate-based laxatives are also marketed under the brand name "Fleet" and also as store brands and generic products. Serious side effects associated with these laxatives misuse include dehydration and/or abnormal levels of electrolytes in the blood that can lead to serious complications, such as kidney damage and sometimes death.
"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," Mona Khurana, M.D., a medical officer in FDA's Division of Nonprescription Regulation Development says.
One natural cure that can be used from those who suffer constipation, which is absolutely free of charge, is the consumption of large glassfuls of water, followed by a brisk walk around the immediate neighborhood.
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