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sodium phosphate / sodium biphosphate (fleet, fleet phospho-soda)

available over the counter: yes

uses: to acutely treat constipation;  for rapid emptying of the colon

mechanism of action: draws water into the intestine, increasing peristalsis and the urge to defecate                  

side effects
• common:
cramping, diarrhea, gas
• less common: none
• serious: dizziness, confusion, lightheadedness, muscle cramps, tiredness

concerns: do not take for more than two weeks, unless your doctor advises; overuse may cause dependence; produces watery stools within 3 to 6 hours, therefore schedule sleep and other activities accordingly; do not take within 2 hours of other medications

 

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